I talked to the Docs yesterday. Still no answers but they are leaning heavily to graft vs. host disease (GVHD). Basically your blood cells attack the foreign body (which happens to be your own body) because they still haven't learned that this is their new home. Typically this is seen in the skin, the gut, or other fast dividing cells but it has been reported in the muscles too.
So, if it is muscle GVHD, we need to knock the cells back down and/or mute their response with drugs or other treatments. Basically weaken her immune response, and in doing that, weaken her ability to fight real infections too. So, as you can see it is a real balancing act and they really have to have a clear diagnosis (or at least know that it is not an infection) before they knock out her immunity again.
Yesterday was a muscle biopsy. I could've swore they said needle biopsy but I may have put those words in their mouths. Either way, the surgeon who did it had done a bunch of them at John Hopkins and was very skilled. She took 3 fiber strands, each was about 5mm X 5mm X 15mm. They way she did it doesn't effect the muscle integrity and Abby said walking wasn't more painful than just sitting there. Pray it heals up quickly, especially if they have to drop her immunity down soon. It was pretty painful but after an hour or so we got it under control with meds. -That was a tough hour.
Today she goes in for her Picc line as well as a liver biopsy. Both of these procedures use radiology imaging to see inside Abby while they drive the hardware and/or instruments down through her veins. One they will drive down from her neck vein to the inside of the liver for a biopsy sample. The other (the picc line) will snake along from her arm towards her heart so that they can have a nice way to deliver meds or take blood samples without giving her yet another IV or needle stick (she had 2 failed IV attempts and 3 finger pricks -all that failed to get the neccessary blood) on Wed night. Basically this Picc line will save her from having to get needle sticks for a while and that will be a great thing as she gets really anxious each time they have to stick her.
The plan right now is to get the pathology back from the muscle and liver biopsies and then make a treatment plan once they have ruled out any type of infection. We hope the pathology is done by Monday so that we can start treatment and then hopefully leave. But, as we all know, anything can happen and so we'll see. I'm hoping and praying that we can come home by Valentines Day.