For anyone that may be interested...

It seems that there may be some people out there still reading this and they know a certain young boy that befriended my wife during a difficult time of her life. This young child brought comfort to her when all else was going wrong and I will forever be grateful for that. So I am going to explain just what is wrong with her and if anyone who reads this and knows who I am talking about can explain it to him I know she would appreciate it. What she has is Osteomyelitis, which is a big word for bone infection. The bone becomes infected by a bacterium that is transported by blood. The bacteria itself occurs naturally in the gut of all people. It seems that because of Tam's chemotherapy in her abdomen area her immune system is supressed to the point where she cannot fend off this bacteria. The infection started out as necrotizing fasciitis or mistakenly called flesh eating bacteria. The bacteria does not actually "eat" her flesh but rather a byproduct given off by the bacteria is a toxin and causes the flesh to dissolve into an abscess. It has become apparent as we look back over the past year that all her infections were related rather than independent incidents. Last May she had an abscess on her tailbone, followed by the one on her abdomen in October and now this one. February of 2005 she fell on some ice while in South Dakota and broke her tailbone. According to my research the infection can be from any type of wound, even one that you don't know you had. Once she became infected the bacteria just kept spreading and traveling throughout her body. It is also the cause of her stroke from last fall. That is called Endocarditis, or infection of the heart valve. The infection caused a blood clot which in turn broke loose. The bacteria in question is Streptococcus. Her version is Strep B. Antibiotics will never get rid of this, surgery is always required. The mortality rate is 25% so there is a real chance of her not surviving this. If she does survive, she will never be as she was. As we know right now she will either have a flail hip (no bone in the leg, it just hangs there) or be amputated at the pelvic bone. That is known as a hind quarter resection and it is fairly rare. It is more involved as not only is the leg removed but also half of the pelvic bone so there is no support for half of your body. I am amazed at her spirit and humor she keeps with all this. Pain is her constant companion, and no matter what I do for her, I cannot ease it. Whenever I feel like things are too much I only have to think of her and what she cannot do to know that my obstacles are not very large.

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