Monday, January 25, 2010

Bound for Houston

Last week's white count, even after three neupogyn shots, only rose to 3.7, so resumption of the revlimid was delayed until my lab work today. Blood count today was good. White count holding at 3.8, platelets at 94, hemoglobin 10, and hematocrit 30. Good enough to go through another cycle of revlimid (3 weeks). After that, I'll have 3 weeks to wean off the prednisone. Sometime during that 3 weeks we'll be moving to Houston to get tested and prepared for the transplant from brother Mike.

I'll be in the hospital at M.D. Anderson for a month for the transplant and recovery. They'll give me immunosuppressants so I don't get in too big of a fight with my brother's stem cells, then they start the monitoring to see how I'm handling the change from my immune system to his. (I'll even end up with his blood type, rather than mine). Then I'll be "confined" to Houston for 3 months in case I pick up any bugs. We'll be staying with Susan's brother during that time. If I get sick, even so much as a mild cold, I'll have to go to the hospital immediately, as I understand it. I've committed to go to my 40th high school reunion back in Dickinson, over the 4th of July, so I'm planning on departing Houston in late June.

I had to have one final discussion with Rifkin about other options. In his view there aren't any other options. He and Dr. Giralt see this as the opportune time to do the transplant. More cycles of revlimid are not an option due to the risk of increased toxicity and lack of eligibility for the transplant. But, we have accomplished more than what was expected by either Rifkin or Giralt with the revlimid and prednisone. As Rifkin described it, "you'll be buffed and polished and ready for transplant after this next cycle." So here we go. Just call me Mr. Florsheim.

My brother Tom visited over this past weekend. We had a great time, including working through his list of home repair jobs. The topper was the scrabble game on Saturday night, which I pulled out on the last play of the game. A come from behind victory, not unlike the one the Indianapolis Colts pulled out on Sunday.

Thank you everyone for hanging in there with us.
Love,
Dan

7 comments:

Big Frank Dickinson said...

Dan,
I'm very happy that you are on track for the transplant. I may have some reservations about which brother was chosen (if it was based on the poetry slam - Mike's poem was: "Roses are red/Violets are blue/ You're stupid"). What kind of poem is that to base a donor selection on??? But, I guess it played well with the docs.

It was great seeing you and Susan and Julia. The scrabble win . . . unexpected to say the least.

Love ya!

Tom

Steven L. Ritter said...

Keep us up to date... I'll keep you in my prayers!!! Great news.. Now on to the fight.

Howard said...

I'm with you Big Frank (Timber Tom), If I had a vote I would have picked you as the donor. To think that a stupid poem would have ruined your chance of donating is unbelieveable!!! I think you should be given another chance. How bout playing Mike a game of scrabble?

Glad to hear your going to try and make the reunion Fuzz.

Howie

KT said...

The stupid poem was a clever way to sway the selection, I think its a good choice, and will be rooting for all of you to have a successful transplant. No complications. Every on track for the high school reunion. I'll be with you via blog! You're in my thoughts and prayers.

sailor said...

Dan and Susan,

Good luck, God speed! Go, Dan Go. Sending lots of prayers and loving light your way. Take care and keep in touch.

Hugs,

Sailor

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

On to the next big adventure!! We're off to Marseille. Will call next week. Bises, S/

Mike said...

Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
Howard's stupid,too!