Tuesday, February 02, 2010

We Have a Date

I've begun the 2nd week of my last cycle of revlimid. I had a 2 week break due to low white count, which brought concern about whether the IGGs would start an upward trend. Fortunately, the steroids apparently held them in check. IGGs at 2021. M spike went up from 1.4 to 1.5. Rifkin says its time to go to Houston. We are tailing off on the steroids (decreasing the dosage by 10 mg. each week). Brother Mike will be in Houston this week for his first round of tests. Mainly blood work I think. Then back in 2 weeks for a fully week of shots and stem cell harvesting.

My testing begins March 1; admitted to the hospital March 10 and the three drug chemo is administered over the next couple of days. Mike's cells will be transplanted on March 15 and the metamorphosis begins. YIKES!!!! I thought human cloning was illegal. Or maybe this will qualify as identity theft. And the idea of two Mike Patterson's wandering around this earth is likely to cause some people to run for the hills. I told Mike I would appreciate receiving some of his hair cells, as I seem to have lost most of my hair. So there you have it.

Susan and Julia will once again be hitting the road in the days before March 1. I will once again be taking the easy road and catching a flight to Houston, all to meet at Susan's brother, Gary's house. And they complain that I never take them anywhere!

I sit in disbelief at our experience over the last 5 years (On March 23rd it will be 5 years since diagnosis) and have even greater difficulty believing this will be my 3rd stem cell transplant.
While I feel more tired going into this than ever before, I know I have a month to pull myself together, brace for the inevitable, and walk through the fire once again. Susan is in the same place as I am. Not a day has gone by, however, without our being deeply grateful for all the extraordinary people in our lives. We continue to feel your love and support and we know we will endure.
Onward and upward,


Phil Brabbs said...

I am hoping to get my first auto-transplant in March as well, probably a little later. Can we switch locations? I think I would rather be in Texas than in Michigan in March. -Phil

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

Good news to have the date. As you said, you can brace yourself. We'll be with you in Houston in our thoughts and prayers. Bises from cold and rainy Paris, Sigun.

Nick said...

Dan -

We are with you in spirit, and you remain in our prayers which we'll kick into overdrive as you go through your allo!

As you know, this really oughta clobber the MM! Give 'em hell and keep smiling. What is it about Myeloma that places centers of excellence in cancer near centers of excellence in Barbeque? :)

Be well, my friend.

Brother Ted said...

I think a six pack a day from now to March first would really help to build you up for the transplant. I would be happy to help you with this regimen. It would be best if you tried a different beer each day, it has been proven that different yeasts, hops and barley really build the immune system. Of course we could also visit one of Denver's new herbal dispensaries. I have read that some herbal concoctions can assist in the healing process. I am here for you so just give me a call.

Mom said...

When you go to Houston my heart and my love go with you. Love,Mom

Susie Hemingway said...

Sending all good wishes to you from freezing England Dan. You will do well I'm sure. Keep strong and positive throughout. Nice for you to have a date to focus on now. The best good luck from us to you.

tim's wife said...

Sending all good wishes and prayers your way from cold and snowy New Jersey, as well as a
big "high five" to your brother.
And I thought it was touching to watch a friend's donated platelets drip into Tim at transplant. This is simply amazing stuff you're all doing.

John said...

Sincere best wishes for the allo-transplant. I feel as if I'm watching you prepare for space flight. The level of science fiction is high with this treatment: new blood type, possible cure for the incurable, rebirth... Please keep us informed on this incredible journey.

Ingrid said...

Great you have a date, :-)
And I bet this time it will be the best.
So sorry I lost contact with Susan, but I understand that she's no time for me, being busy with you.
My fingers are crossed like always, my thoughts are continously with you, also when I do not write.
Right 5 years, but that is not the point, the point is, that it is 5 years, when you were given a max of 3 and here we are, fighting and winning this battle.
Great Dan, I'm going for 30 this year and you know, I want you to reach me !!!

Love and big hug, Ingrid

Sandy said...

From the sounds of your relationship with your brother, he is undoubtably in the stratosphere with the idea that you will have his cells. I can just imagine all the one-ups-manship wrangling this will bring about for the two of you and just know that a friend in Seattle is sending Reiki and intentions for the greatest success - for the highest and best good for all concerned.