Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Transplant on the Horizon

I finished the stem cell collection today, then met with the doctor (not Barlogie) mainly to get orders for the next round of testing. We have some confusion regarding stem cell collection, but it appears we're around 5.2 million cells collected. They've requested the 10 million I have in Denver so we'll be at 15 million. And more collection could possibly occur in the future, although after each transplant it becomes more difficult.

Tomorrow and Thursday I go through another round of testing---PET scan, MRI, bone marrow biopsy and removal of one port and installation of another (they use a different port for stem cell collection). Then a week's break to recover and we meet with Barlogie in a week to discuss the next phase. I need the break as the fatigue seems to build. I'm most relieved that I won't have any more shots for awhile. My poor belly is a bit bruised, but I am thankful I brought some extra poundage. That spare tire provided a cushion. I always knew there was a reason I didn't have six pack abs.

The chemo regime brought the IGGs down to around 4500 from 6500. Not a great response, but we are reminded that IGGs are not the definitive measure, thus the need for more testing. We think we'll probably move right into the first transplant after the week's break; which was the plan from the beginning. It wouldn't surprise me if the planning, paperwork, etc. takes another week or more before the transplant. But tentatively I'm looking at late February.

We are saddend by Julia's departure tomorrow as she has been great assistance and company during these long days--even with her broken hand. She has become something of a celebrity in the infusion room with her broken hand, but she takes the ribbing in stride. We are buoyed, however, that Catherine will be coming for the weekend in about 10 days. It is hard to express the depth of gratitude I have for these three beautiful women in my life who continue to spend so much time in support of me during these past years. Their hearts are huge. I have often said one of the most difficult aspects of this disease and treatment is the burden it places on those most close to me. I would wish for all of them that their lives could be more carefree. But I am very grateful, for they keep me going.

We moved to a different apartment, after too many hassles and frustrations with the inadequate furnishings of the first apartment. It is the same building, but here is the new address: 300 E. Third St., #1201, Little Rock, AR 72201. Thank you everyone for the cards, emails, gifts, good wishes, and prayers. You continue to lift our spirits.

Much love to all,


Ingrid said...

Hi Dan and Susan,

it sounds more and more scary what you let us read, and imagining how threatful it is going through it - all I can say: YES, it sounds as if you're in very good hands, and just hang in there man!

Always picture yourself at the end of this tunnel, and just continue to see the sparkling light that is out there.
It is rough and tough right now, it might continue to be rough and tough for a while, but the sparkling light is there, I see it, so open your eyes very well, to see it too.

I love you and Susan, would love to be more helpful than simply having you two always in my mind.


Nick said...

Dan -

I am heartened to hear you are getting through this.


Please let me know which one had the crummy furnishings so I can avoid it. Thanks!

Warm regards,