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Mesker recovering after bone marrow transplant

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Stephanie Mesker underwent a bone marrow transplant last week. Her twin, Stephen, was the donor.
The twins' mother, Tammy Pettis, spoke with Donna Sutton, a co-worker at Atmore Nursing Care Center Wednesday. She said the procedure went well. Stephanie was experiencing some pain, and her appetite was not good.
The doctors told Pettis it would take 10 to 14 days for all the chemotherapy and radiation that she had the week prior to the transplant to get in her tissues and start having an effect.
Pettis said doctors expected Stephanie to ache, swell and have nausea and vomiting and to experience mouth and buttocks sores.
Stephanie's lab tests were "low" so the doctors had not been able to determine if her body was accepting or rejecting the bone marrow.
Pettis said Stephen had to be "stuck" 110 times. After the procedure was finished, he asked Pettis, "Am I through saving my sister's life?"
When Pettis told him that he was, he said, "Good, because I'm so tired."
He went back to school Tuesday.
Stephanie will remain in the hospital for another three weeks, then she will be at the Ronald McDonald House until June. If everything goes well, she should be coming home then.
The twins and Pettis live in Appleton. Stephanie and Stephen were visiting their father in Texas when Stephanie fell ill and was diagnosed with leukemia.