Monday, March 01, 2010

Testing Has Begun

The day began at 7 a.m. by checking in at M.D. Anderson. A few noninvasive tests, some blood work, and three "consults" to review the transplant process. A process we've been through twice, so it seemed unnecessary---particularly the meeting with the social worker. But they have their procedures, so we tolerated all those questions that we've answered many times over the last 5 years.

We dropped Julia off at the airport this afternoon and she reports that she has arrived safely in Denver. She was of great assistance in helping to get Susan and me moved in to her brother's house. My mother always told me that when staying with someone, I should always remember that fish start to smell after 3 days. I told Gary that if fish start to smell after 3 days, they must be decomposing and full of maggots in 4 months. The poor guy. He's lived alone for the past 35 years and now Susan and I move in. Talk about shock! He's most generous and accomodating. I'm the one who's sensitive about this. Susan, on the other hand, merely says, "he's my brother. Of course we'd stay with him."

Mike left me more than 6 million stem cells last week. (they need about 4 or 5 million). He had to spend a week down here, giving himself neupogyn shots and then spending 2 days in the recliner as they harvested his cells. His output was much less than I've seen in many of the autologous transplants (I spit out 22 million prior to my first transplant) but I don't know if that has something to do with other drugs that are administered when they are harvesting stem cells from the patient himself. I guess I need to get on google and see what I can learn.

Tomorrow is a full day of bone surveys, scans, and biopsies. A bit more rigorous than today. Wednesday is the same and then it tails off by the end of the week. Then I will be admitted to the hospital next Wednesday for the chemo and transplant.

Much love to all,
Dan

16 comments:

Brother Ted said...

Good evening Dan and Susan. What a great family, fantastic Susan, loving daughters, great brothers and a whole gaggle of friends who share and love like family. Glad that you all made it safely. It feels and sounds like another adventure is in the making.

bemiller said...

Our prayers are with you Dan, as you continue to travel this new road along your journey. A person wonders what our lives would be like today if cancer hadn't changed everything! We'll be thinking of you each day! Hang in there with that "Dickinson (ND) Attitude!"
Ernie & Bobbi Miller

Jan said...

The six million dollar man, your brother is. A lower number just means his cells are so super good, his body didn't want to part with them. Actually, I have been told that a low number does have some correlation with better quality...sure there are exceptions to every rule.
Prayers for all of you.

kdorkian said...

You are another blog we chanced upon; my husband is from North Dakota like you. I am the wife who has myeloma. We wish you much success with your allo transplant and send positive thoughts to you and your family. Keep fighting the myeloma; I am so impressed with your courage. Rebecca and Jerry Weber

Phil Brabbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Brabbs said...

We're cheering from the sidelines!

Steven L. Ritter said...

Glad you're finally there and starting the process. Good luck and keep the blogs going so we can follow your progress... Prayers coming your way!!!!

Mike said...

Danny Boy, another poem for you.

Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
Stem cells for Danny
To be Mikey 2.

I hope the stem cells I left result in a successful cloning process.
Love,
Mike

Big Frank Dickinson said...

Dan,
Much as I had hoped to provide those stem cells I think the Big Fella's are more combative and that's what you need. With his stem cells and your everything-else - you are on your way!

Love,

Tom

Kate said...

I agree with Tom that Mike's stem cells will bully the cancer out of you, Dan. Big Fella will take care of you.

Love, Kathy

tim's wife said...

Many transplant patients do have their stem cells mobilized with other drugs ie: CDEP which they would never do to a donor. Basically,
neupogen is just like any other drug, people's bodies respond to it differently
and hopefully in your brother's case, he was spared the sometimes
wicked pain that can go along with
those huge collection numbers from
marrow overcrowding. The prayers continue.
Denise
P.S. I'd bet Susan's brother is thrilled to be able to help in some way. It's often much more difficult on people to feel so helpless or inept.

Mom said...

I loved Mike's poem. I am sure his cells will do the job. Love, Dan's Mom

Nick said...

You mean there's such a thing as a non-invasive test? :) I hope somebody tells Bart about this before my next visit to Arkansas. Sounds like a concept that he is unfamiliar with! :)

That is all good news, Dan. I know it is tedious and fatiguing having to continue to deal with all the dramatic twists and turns of your Myeloma journey but it is wonderful that you are with doctors in whom you have trust, and you are pursuing a therapy that has the potential to truly be curative. You and Susan remain in our thoughts and prayers -- I'm sure you spirits will remain high and you will bring your great attitude to this. Please let us know how we can help.

Now go kick its butt!!

Brett said...

Thanks for the update, Dan! Our prayers are with you here in Denver. Stay strong and keep 'em laughing.

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

Thanks for the update. We've been thinking of you during our traveling. Hope to talk to you soon. Bises, Sigun.

Mike said...

Dan,
Enjoyed talking with you last night. It's amazing that after all you've been through, you still have that crazy sense of humor.
I look forward to seeing you Monday.
Mike