Hello Everyone, I can tell from the emails and phone calls that it’s been way too long since I have sent out an update. So here is what has happened in the Month of June for me.
I started another round of Chemo on June 9th. This was Gemcitabine. It comes in two parts, kind of an A and a B. They gave me 3 chemos on June 9th. It took a long time about 8hrs because they had to do blood work and the pharmacy was really slow getting the drugs put together. I came in the next day for fluids. Overall the experience was really easy and I felt great by Monday. No Nausea or any real issues. I did have a little bit of trouble eating Thursday and Friday but not bad.
By Monday I was fine. I was able to get out and play some disc golf with my friend Zach. My lymph under my arm also shrank a ton in just a couple of days. Which was very encouraging. Finally some good news.
I also had my 31st birthday on Wednesday June 15th. My dad, brother and Karla came up for a BBQ with all my SLC friends. The next day I went in for the part B of Chemo. This was probably the easy Chemo I have had so far. (words I never wanted to say) Either I’m really getting used to this or it was fake. I don’t think it was fake because my Lymph has shrunk to basically nothing.
In a highlight of my last three months I was able to go home for the weekend of June 24th. It was absolutely amazing to be home and see many of my friends. I can’t say it was relaxing because it was running from one event to another all weekend long. But it was a blast. It was really hard to come back to SLC after all the reminders of why I love Moab so much. It was also wonderful to make it while the rivers where still raging even if I was unable to get on them.
I meet with the doctor on friday July 1st to go over the results of the recent test. The PET scan shows a little improvement. The brightness in my left arm pit went from 15 to 13 which is good but not great. My lymph in my chest went from 4 to 2. Good but not great. The MRI showed that the blood clot in my heart had shrunk.(yea no open heart surgery!) It also shows a possible blood clot on my central line. They may have to take out this line and inset another, which would be my third in case you are counting.
I started the collection process today. Which means I get a shot of neupogen everyday to increase the white blood cell count. On Tuesday I will start the collection process at 8am. It will take about 4 hours to collect. The blood is cycled from my body through a machine that separates out the stem cells. Then it pumps the blood back in my body. We are going for 10 million stems cells which is double what they need just incase we have to do a second BMT. Which is what the doctor is currently recommending.(more on that in a later email) It could take up to 5 days to get all the stem cells and then another 5-10 days to process and clean the stem cells.
I will do another round of the Gemcitabine starting on July 11th. This is mostly to maintain more than to “cure” the cancer. After the three week recovery they will move right into the High Dose chemo. I will get into the details of the 2nd BMT once we get closer. I’ve been told that my blogs are too detailed with too much information.
SO this means I’m finally officially apart of the Bone Marrow Clinic. It means I should be moving out of the basement to the hospital in the next 4 weeks.
It also means I’m looking at not being back in Moab until Sept if I do just a single BMT if I do a double I might be able to be home for a week or so before coming back to do the second which would put my full time back in Moab at around late Oct.