Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First Round Completed

They disconnected me from my chemo bag today, after 4 days of constant pumping. The worst part wasn't the chemo reaction as much as the stomach shots to prevent blood clots. Some techs were better than others on that technique. I did need a transfusion (2 pints and I'm not talking Guiness) on Monday as my red blood count was plummeting--not a surprise, though. Now we wait for the bone marrow to bottom out, i.e., white cells, and platelets to drop. Then, even starting tomorrow perhaps, I will start receiving growth shots to stimulate stem cell growth for eventual collection of millions of my stem cells. That could occur maybe in 10 days to 2 weeks. Depending on the state of my cancer I'll either go right into the first transplant or get a break of anywhere from a week to a couple of weeks to recover.

The process here is maddening slow but they have such an expert team assembled that we don't resent it. They are inundated with patients and everyone is so committed to the task of caring for them, that we all put up with the inconvenience of waiting. Is that why we're called patients? Dr. Barlogie drives a tough ship. As one of the nurses said, "he works 18 hours a day and expects everyone else to as well, and we do." Can't complain about that.

The burden I fear is greater on Susan and Julia as they wait and wait and wait at the clinic/hospital. How utterly boring. But they are so patient and understanding and every day I become more grateful for their support, as well as Catherine's regular calls to check on us. My brother Mike is driving up from Tyler, TX this Friday to give some relief to my drivers, as once I start the growth shots it will be 2 visits a day to the infusion room.

That's the news from Little Rock. Despite all the waiting things feel like they are moving rapidly. With much gratitude for all your good wishes, thoughts and prayers.


Joni said...

Dan!! We are all cranking out good vibes and sending them your way. We miss you tons - it's not the same around here without you! Lots of love, Joni and the LLS crew

Big Frank Dickinson said...

Dan the man,
Glad to hear of all the support you have (as always) and that phase one is over. You're on your way!

shawnandjaike said...

So good to get your news. We are all waiting for updates and check it frequently, so thank you for keeping us in the loop. We have snow on the ground in NC!1 Can you believe it. Watching the Australian open to help us keep warm. Love to you, Susan and Julia. Shawn