Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Time in Texas

Much to say and most of it good. I've spent the better part of the last 2 weeks in Texas. First, at MDA and then a return trip to Tyler for my nephew, Kyle's, wedding. (Kyle is Mike's boy). The wedding was a great celebration. Kyle has married a beautiful young lady, Gennie. All of Mike's siblings (Tom, Kathy and me) made it to the wedding along with our mother. We (Susan, Catherine, Julia and I) spent many vacations with Kyle and his brothers, skiing, canoeing, going to the beach. I enjoyed seeing all these guys now that they've become young men. While some would say it makes you feel old, it made me smile the entire weekend. I so appreciated that I was able to participate in this life event for Kyle and his family. The last five years have made me very grateful to be able to spend time with my family. Tom has a few pictures from the wedding posted on his blog: www.bigfrankdickinson.blogspot.com.

The testing at MDA went without a hitch, although it sure felt like they jammed a number of tests into the 3 days. I met with my doctor at 4 p.m. on Friday and went through everything. The IGGs have dropped a bit to 1800; M protein is 1.5, down from 1.9 in June when I was discarged ; blood counts are good although white count is a bit low; pulminary function is normal and improved from June, bone density is normal, including in my back which is a nice improvement given my numerous compression fractures.

We reviewed the vaccine trial and then they "randomized" me. Do I get the vaccine or am I a part of the control group? Since this is not a blinded trial, they told me--no vaccine, the computer randomly placed me in the control group. This means that I will receive another infusion of Mike's lymphocytes, but this won't include the vaccine being made from my plasma. If I don't respond to Mike's cells, then they will give me the vaccine. So being in the control group means, at worst, I have to wait a few extra months to get the vaccine. Mike will be starting the injection process to prepare his cells in November. I'll get the infusion sometime in January. In the meantime, I have to see my doctor here on a weekly basis, and go to MDA every 3 months.

While I was spending time in Texas, Susan took off for Vermont to spend a few days with close friends who have moved east. Then she headed across the Atlantic to spend some time with our good friends, the Coyles, who live in Paris. To say she needed a break from me would be an understatement. She's spent 8 months over the past 18 months being my 24 hour caregiver. That's enough to drive anyone crazy. A trip to Paris seemed like an appropriate reward for keeping her sanity. We are now both safely back at home.

Our best to everyone.

1 comment:

Steven L. Ritter said...

Glad every thing is going well... Very interested in the vaccine trial. Keep me informed.. Keep smiling and enjoying that family....