Not a whole lot has happened over the past two weeks. Anya had one bronchoscopy last Thursday. The doctor took her Jackson 4 trach out. Here’s what the metal trach looked like:
Only the top two metal pieces (metal tube & inner cannula) were attached. The bottom piece (obturator) was only used to put the trach back in, if it was ever taken out, like during a bronchoscopy.
Here’s what the trach looked like attached to Anya:
And here’s the inside to outside connection:
Anyways, this thing was removed last Thursday, which means a few things: 1) the doctor was comfortable enough with the way that Anya’s lungs looked that he didn’t feel as though the trach was necessary anymore, 2) there wasn’t enough mucus buildup in her lungs to require a trach for suctioning. Definitely good news.
As far as the hole in her neck, it should close within a few days and fully heal within 2 weeks. Believe it or not, no stitches were required to close the hole. It just kinda closes and heals on it’s own. Right now, there’s just a little scab there. The wound should be barely noticeable after it fully heals.
So, what’s in store for us from here on out? First up is a dermatology appointment on March 5th. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of one of these immunosuppressive drugs (Cellcept) is skin cancer. The type of skin cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma. Anya had a few spots on her scalp, neck and arms removed with MOHS surgery and liquid nitrogen after her first transplant. Usually, the spots are isolated and do not metastasize if removed early, so the plan is to stay on top of them from here on out. This type of skin cancer is fairly common with immunosuppressed people. Currently, Anya has a few spots on top of her head which are most likely squamous cell carcinoma or pre-cancer. Hopefully, they can just remove them without the MOHS surgery.
The head of the pulmonary team here thinks that one of the reasons Anya went into chronic rejection after her first transplant is because our transplant team over at Inova Fairfax took her off of Cellcept to combat the skin cancer. This time around, the transplant team here is going to keep her on this important immunosuppressive drug and just monitor the skin cancer.
Next up, after this dermatology appointment, is our 3-month checkup. Apparently, the transplant clinic is going to be closed for a few weeks in April, so our 3-month check up is going to be a little bit early. We’re scheduled for the usual — blood work, CT Scan/x-ray, spirometry, 6-minute walk, then an appointment with the pulmonologist. Hopefully, all of this will be uneventful.
That’s about it for the next few weeks. Anya’s continuing to progress. Here are some pictures from the past two weeks: