PARASAILING WAS FUN!!!

I WONDER WHAT'S NEXT? ZIP LINING MAYBE???



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update: Good news

Yesterday I took John to HUP* to get his Pheresis catheter implanted so they could harvest his stem cells in preparation for the stem cell transplant. We had to be at the hospital at 7am, which meant getting up at 5am for the drive in (groan!) We got there with a little time to spare and they took John in right away.

By 10 am, John was ready to go to the Pheresis Unit to begin stem cell harvesting. They hooked him up to his machine and the harvesting began. It took about 3 hours. He hadn't eaten because they sedated him to get the catheter implanted. So I bought some lunch and we had a picnic on his bed. Watched a few episodes of Law and Order SVU and before we knew it, he was finished for the day.

We made arrangements to go back today (Wednesday) for his second collection. They figured the needed 2 to 3 days to get enough stem cells. Last night John was kind of achy and tired. I think we did too much yesterday, even though it was just a little grocery shopping.

Early last evening, he got a phone call from the Pheresis Unit. They needed to collect 4 million stem cells for his transplant. They were able to collect 18 million stem cells yesterday! So we didn't have to go back today! That was such great news! We slept until 10 am instead of getting up at 6 am, like we had planned.

So today he just has a regular doctor appointment with his primary care physician, since he hasn't seen him in a while. He can go back to work on Monday but his boss offered to give him Saturday and Sunday shifts to make up for the days he's missing (he's been out of work for 2 weeks this time), so he's going to take that.

Next up is a PET scan on Aug 7 and he goes in for the transplant on Aug 12. I'm just wondering, since he seems to be tolerating the chemo so well, and his harvest went so well, maybe he won't be in the hospital for the month or 6 to 8 weeks like they predicted. I guess time will tell.

I sure hope this transplant works! It's very discouraging to see this cancer pop back up repeatedly every 3 to 6 months.

*Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


17 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

I always think of you guys. Well, not always, I mean, I had a gruelling interview (interviewing) today that took ages and I mean, what I mean is you're always in my thoughts. Glad to hear of good news.

♥ Braja said...

There's little to say, Joanie...it's such a thing you're going through...I'm happy to hear good news, and hope it all continues....love to you :) xx

Ice Queen said...

That's great news! I think the success of the stem cell harvest is a definite sign of how the rest of the road will be.

Ice Queen said...

p.s. I left you something at my place...I'll give you a hint. It's an award =)

Ice Queen said...

pps I lied. I didn't leave you anything because it won't be there until Sunday. Haha

dizzblnd said...

What wonderful news! I can only imagine how exhausting it must be. But both of you sound like strong survivors. I will continue to pray for you all every night.

Mary Ellen said...

Great news! I'm sure that's an omen for easier times to come.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Oh that is good news. Joanie you are really something special, my heart goes out to you and John.

And your label is right. Cancer does suck.

Pastor Sharon said...

Joanie, your courage and strength continues to inspire me. You are a dear sweet lady and John is blessed to have such a gal!

You guys are certainly going through some stuff. It is a wonderful thing that they were able to harvest so many stem cells in one day! Hopefully, sleeping in was restful for you guys!

Jim and Garret said...

Wowsers, you got to sleep in? Yay! I'm glad things are moving in a positive direction! Thinking of you two.

linlah said...

Yeah for 18 million.

Joanne said...

Joanie - just found your blog. I haven't had a chance to read back but was so happy for you both reading this post today. My mom has lived with lymphoma for the last decade so I understand a lot of what you are going through.

Daria said...

I sure hope the transplant goes well too ...

Kat said...

You have an award at my place.

Lots of love from The Bungalow going to John. *mwah* Stay strong Joanie!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Encouraging news, Joanie!!

Alix said...

Joanie and John...

First of all, thank you for being so consistent with your medical updates. With all you have to do, keeping us abreast of your appointments, procedures and progress is a wonderful selfless thing. I can only imagine how exhausting it all is for the two of you, but following along through your blog is such a gift.

Stem cell harvesting sounds fascinating. Hope it's not too hard on John, but good show on the 18 million cell haul. I wish we could donate our own stem cells, but I know it doesn't work that way. I do, however, try to donate blood regularly and I'm on the National Bone Marrow Registry. Let me know if John can use any of that. :)


Sending a steady flow of love and kind wishes to you and John always. I love you guys so much and want you to know you remain in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Joanie M said...

Actually, Alix, sometimes, if a patient's bone marrow isn't good (showing signs of cancer there), they use a donor's stem cells. We met a man on Tuesday who was giving his stem cells for his sister.

All those 18 mil stem cells won't be used this time around. They'll keep John's stem cells frozen for the next 5 years, in case he has a recurrence and needs them again. If there are any left over, he will donate them so maybe he can help someone else down the road.

Love and prayers are always welcome! And the blog is a good way for me to vent when i need to. Also writing it all down helps me to understand it better.