2/15/19 Tofu & galactomannan

There are many threats to a person with a compromised immune system. One of these is invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infection. A BMT patient can get this kind of fungal infection from breathing the same air that you and I breathe everyday. This is the biggest reason for the mask- to protect them from these microscopic particles that can wreak havoc on their entire body. This is a big deal.
Each week, Reese has a “galactomannan antigen” blood test. This is an early detection test for invasive aspergillosis. Reese’s tests consistently come back well below the “positive” of 0.5. (A few months ago, she had a high value of 0.7 that had us very nervous, but resolved the following week.) Her values were 0.069 and 0.042 the past two weeks. Today, Reese’s value came back at 4.567. This is crazy high and absolutely terrifying.
Immediately, my parents and I began brainstorming and researching. What did we do different last Tuesday night (before her blood test.) What did she have to eat? I don’t think I have mentioned Reese’s recent obsession with tofu. She loves it fresh, diced small, and put into miso soup. So I purchase her favorite miso soup, reboil it, and then add tofu. She eats three helpings. So this lead me to research soybeans and galactomannan, and I found a connection. The connection being, false-positives. (Especially in people who have had gvhd of the gut. Something about the disrupted mucosal barrier… and the galactomannan getting in, in a way that is different than the standard folks. Very confusing.) Reese’s doctors want to do a very cautious “watch and wait” because Reese does not have any other symptoms (no temps and breathing is fine.) If we see any new signs, we head straight in. This could be a very scary place to be, going into a long holiday weekend. We need to wait until next THURSDAY for her repeat blood test results. I mentioned the tofu to our doctor and they haven’t seen this before, which doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, Reese throws us curve balls every step of the way.
So, for now I am trying to keep her away from tofu for her repeat next week (she has been in San Francisco a long time, her love of soy is REAL) and trusting in God. He sent me a rainbow, while this was happening, right outside my window. I took it as a sign to relax, trust, and blame it on the tofu. I pray for her safety and I trust. Amen.

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