God bless Meg, her nurse today. She pestered the ear-nose-throat crew to get Nancy talking, and they changed her trachea tube, putting a new one in that is same size, but without an inflatable inside collar. This gave her enough extra room that she can apparently talk with the Passy-Muir valve!
I say apparently because I haven't heard it. Second hand reports are that her voice is very hoarse, as vocal cords that haven't seen use in four weeks are getting tested. Nancy was on the valve for a half hour today (plus she got a workout from the physical therapist) so she's pretty tired and quiet tonight. I expect they will put her on the valve a bit longer each day.
Kidneys are Real Good, she apparently put out 1.9 liters (!) of urine yesterday. She has a new attending oncologist, Peter Sayre on two week rotation, a very respectable and senior guy. He confirmed that her cancer is in remission, her infections seem gone, and she will be tapering off the remaining prednisone dose very slowly over a couple of months. From his point of view, they aren't going to be changing much, the idea is to preserve her very gradually-strengthening immune system, and keep the graft/host disease from reappearing.
So Nancy should move to some kind of step-down ward this week, and we're going to be talking about physical therapy a lot for the next month or two.
Just chatted with her night nurse, Sharlene, who has been caring for patients all around Nancy, but not for Nancy herself. Cheerful, upbeat, young, and happy to see Nancy progressing. It's refreshing to get a perspective like that. So easy for me to lose my sense of joy about her improvements.