The kids and I spent the weekend in Washington, DC while my sister-in-law, Barbara, stayed with Art. My grandmother turned 100th on Sunday, January 28thbirthday. She sang “I am a hundred years young” as if she were a vaudeville star. It made us all marvel. I am thankful for the distraction.
The skinny…after talking to Dr. Wolin yesterday, we are thrilled that Art has improved! When the tests were taken, it had only been 12 days since the big chemo round. The chemo drugs had just begun to eat up the cancer. The fact that there was any improvement at all is a very good sign. If they did more tests next week, I am sure the results would be moderate to significant improvement. It’s all good.
Today, Wednesday, Art is on his second day of stem cell collection. They hook him up to a machine that cycles some of his blood through it, collecting the white blood cells (which are really red – go figure) and then returning the rest to him. They then spin the white cells and separate out the stem cells, collect and freeze them. Yesterday he gave them 1.3 million. The goal is 5 million.
Our future will look something like this…..I think. Monday, Rituxan or as we call it the happy chemo drug. It barely makes him sick and attacks only the cancer cells. Tuesday – Thursday, high dose chemo, Friday – Monday fluids and anti nausea drugs, and then Tuesday, infusion of stem cells. We will be at the center all day, every day. We will have our very own nurse for the high dose chemo procedure, instead of sharing one with 3 -4 patients. If all goes well we will be able to return every night to our apartment. If all does not go well, we will take up residency at the hospital.
The fear from this journey is presenting itself as a wall…one we can get around but is daunting in its ability to block us.
Lastly, a note from Art
Thanks to everyone for the positive energy coming my way! I had another scan on Monday, and it showed "mild to moderate" improvement (shrinkage) in the tumors, which is good considering I had my last dose of chemo just over a week ago. So...the treatment is working, and I'm back on track. I'm starting the stem cell transplant process, which should knock this thing out of me, if all goes according to plan.
The emails have been great, and literally keep me going each day. Thank you again for your support; I can't tell you how much it means!
I ditto the thank you. Without the prayers, sending of love and light, or begging to the deity of your choice, oh and emails and phone calls, this journey would be impossible and cause irreparable damage to us as a family. You all are keeping us sane…a gift so great that we will never be able to repay.