As I mentioned in my last post, Dale is back in the hospital. He is having some fairly significant discomfort, and has been a bit down, but he wants you all to know that this is just a temporary setback. The medical staff at St. Luke's is taking excellent care of him and he is certain that he will overcome this obstacle. He said to tell you all that he's just in for some fine tuning.
In an effort to find the cause of his symptoms, the staff has tested him for Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, which is a common virus that infects most people worldwide. CMV infection is usually harmless and rarely causes illness and a healthy immune system can hold the virus in check. However, if a person's immune system is seriously weakened in any way, the virus can become active and cause CMV disease, which can be quite serious. We don't have the results of the test back yet, but I will update you all when I do.
Another possible consideration is that the symptoms may be from Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) which is a frequent complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplant in which the engrafted donor cells attacks the patient's organs and tissue. GVHD tends to be more severe in patients receiving mismatched transplants from family member or unrelated donors, which is the case with Dale.
I'm sure there are other potential causes for his discomfort, but these are the front-runners at the moment. In an effort to determine what is causing Dale's symptoms, they performed a colonoscopy this morning. They took several samples to biopsy and we should have the results of those in the near future.
I also wanted to mention that Dale's father passed away on Saturday. His father wasn't a nice man and they weren't at all close, but I think on top of everything else, it will be hard on Dale once it sinks in.
Dale has been overwhelmed by the love and support he has received from his friends and family and the people who read this blog. Your phone calls and cards have meant the world to him and I have printed off your blog comments nearly every day. They are a great source of enjoyment and comfort and he reads them all, laughing at some, tearing up over others. He appreciates it more than he can say, as do I.
So folks, please keep those calls, cards and comments comin'...you really are making a difference!