8-24-11 Wednesday   +9 ¾  months  

 (From Lisa)

What a difference a week makes.

Status:  Off the ventilator!  Yes, you read that right.

Events:  Yesterday, Bruce proved to the doctors that his lungs could still work.  He was able to breathe on his own, with an assist from the ventilator, for 11 hours.  That was up from just two hours the day before.   With that encouraging sign, they were hoping to get him off the ventilator entirely today. 

So today, after another successful breathing test, the big moment came.  Everyone was so excited that they crowded into the room. Our resident, one of our pulmonary doctors, the respiratory therapist, Bruce’s nurse, the charge nurse, me and Bruce’s brother Terry.   One, two, three and out came the breathing tube. 

Bruce is still on oxygen – using a face mask. But he’s breathing well and already trying to talk.  (Not surprising, knowing Bruce.)

And the doctors now have an actual diagnosis.  One of the biopsies from the second bronchoscopy turned up positive for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonitis.   As always, Bruce is unique.  They’d been hunting for CMV since he was first admitted, but all of the blood cultures came back negative.  It ultimately took two cells from the biopsy, using a special stain, to grow the virus.  The doctors say it’s very rare for a negative CMV blood culture, and a positive biopsy. Also, it’s rare for CMV pnuemonitis to rear its head this long after transplant. 

Once they discovered this, the doctors immediately stopped the high dose steroids. Those weaken the immune system – not a good thing if you’re trying to fight off CMV or any infection.  The doctors began treatment with Ganciclovir and Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG).  IVIG will do a number on his numbers – so they’ll keep a careful eye on those white and red cell counts. 

Comments:  We know there are no guarantees about the days and weeks ahead.  Bruce is still quite ill – his lungs have to clear, he has to get over his C. diff, and has to regain strength.  But we are so amazingly thankful to be in the position we are in today.   We know all of your good thoughts, prayers and wishes helped bring us here.  One person wrote to me that if we had a dollar for each of those good thoughts we’d be millionaires.  We are already rich in wonderful family and friends.

 Love,

Bruce (and Lisa)

26 Responses to “”

  1. Jill O'Mahony Stewart Says:

    Thanks for the update. We had no idea how complicated the situation was. Warm thoughts and prayers across the miles. Love, Jill

  2. Marlene Cimons Says:

    Fabulous news! I am so happy to hear it! Marlene

  3. Shelley Fleet Says:

    So glad to hear the good news! Keep fighting the good fight!
    Shelley Fleet

  4. Wendi Says:

    Such good news – I am verklempt! What a fighter he is. I hope that this is a new beginning and that there is some smoother sailing ahead. Always with love, Wendi

  5. Johnny De Philo Says:

    HURRAY!!! this is just fantastic news. punching the sky and laughing aloud. kisses all around

  6. joel steinberg Says:

    What a great step forward. At least you have a treatable problem. Hang tough, Bruce. Margaret and Joel S.

  7. Judy and Lewis Lefkowitz Says:

    This good news beats any million dollars. Priceless.

  8. wendy dan Says:

    Hopie asked if there could be a miracle.. So I guess she now knows this is proof positive. I think this is number 6 or 7 for B. One for his good genes and his determination, right attitude
    and fight, 2 for the donor, 3 for finding and marrying the right girl, Lisa, 4 for having 2 fantastic kids, 5 for John Hopkkins, 6 & 7 for family and friends around the world cheering and praying for his return to home and health. Yahoo for the power of miracles to remind us of anything and everything is possible

  9. Susan and Larry Says:

    Read all your blogs. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Let us know if there is anything we can do. Can’t wait to hear that y’all will be going home. Keep the faith. Love, Cousins Susan Larry

  10. Barbara McKee Says:

    Well maybe Bruce is a cat – 9 lives. Please continue to live all of them. Thanks for the good news.

    Barbara McKee

  11. Marcia & Wilson Russell Says:

    Yeah!! Such good news. Much Love to Bruce & Lisa and family.

  12. Blaine Says:

    Ok, I’m not crying, I’m not crying. :-) Just happy for everyone!!

  13. Gail Lehmann Says:

    Wonderful News! Keep the good news coming…
    Gail & Mark

  14. Aileen Pincus Says:

    WOW..terrific! What great news! Aileen & Scot

  15. Eileen Breslin Says:

    Lisa, there are no words to capture your steadfast commitment and vigilance…our hearts go out to you, the children and Bruce…tell him we are praying, thinking of him and you all daily…love Eileen and Bill

  16. Nancy Douglas Says:

    Yay!

  17. judy moss Says:

    So very happy to hear the wonderful news. Please let Bruce know we are all thinking of and praying for his COMPLETE recovery. We hope he stays strong…and you, too, Lisa. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
    Love, Judy and Larry

  18. Ken Zwick Says:

    We’re so happy to hear that things have apparently taken a turn for the better. We hope and pray that Bruce’s improvement continues.

    Love, Ken & Ruth

  19. Mata and Lewis Weiss Says:

    Marta and Lewis Weiss
    We have been in the background always praying. We are so excited to seeing good news! Paryes and love are always with Bruce, Lisa, and the kids.

  20. Bill Israel and Eileen Breslin Says:

    Absolutely the best news of the day, Bruce and Lisa. We love you both, and are cheering you from San Antonio.

  21. Henry Miller Says:

    You’re right, Lisa: Bruce IS unique — uniquely wonderful!

    So glad to have this terrific news!

  22. Bill Schaffner Says:

    Great news! Hang in there, Bruce, Lisa and kids. Much positive energy streaming toward you from Nashville.

    CMV – who wudda thunk it?!! Confirms that Bruce is exceptional!

  23. dswedlow Says:

    I received the blog subscription late last night and was genuinely overjoyed! It was such terrific news. The magic of Bruce Dan rises once again. Fabulous!

    Ruth & Dave

  24. Donna Hill Howes Says:

    Yippeeee! Thrilled with the progress….love and more love.
    You inspire us all to take a good deep breath and be thankful for the little things. God Bless you all.
    Love,
    Donna

  25. Nancy Bandell Says:

    “Never, never, never give up.” Sir Winston Churchill

  26. Jeff Molter Says:

    God Bless Bruce. I read the blog religiously. He was a noble fighter and a great writer. Though we’ll all miss him terribly, Bruce’s words and spirit will remain with all of us forever. I can’t think of a better tribute to an excellent doc, writer, editor, TV reporter and friend.

    Best.

    Jeff Molter

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