There are many factors and moving components to this process…
- Cycle 1 of chemo is effective enough to drop my bone marrow blast cell from 65% to <5%. Then they keep me alive until my immune system is strong enough to work on its own. This is when they let me go home for a few weeks. UPDATE: This went as well as could be expected. Only one infection to treat then home after 26 days in the hospital.
- During my two weeks at home I meet with Stanford to begin the preparation for a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. UPDATE: This happened on 3/29 earlier than first anticipated and went well. We hope to have a calendar plan of events at Stanford soon. At the moment we have a high level game plan from them.
- After the two weeks at home, I go back to the hospital for a consolidation cycle 2 of chemo. This could be as short as three days. UPDATE: I was only home for one week and I’m as of this writing, I’m on my last night here of the consolidation chemo. The dosage is ~30 x the stronger than the previous but this is in 6 rounds of 3 hours bursts 12 hours apart vs the previous 24/7 for 7 days in conjunction with another chemo med for the first three days. Tomorrow I expect to be back home for a week or two of recovery with frequent trips back to Roseville KP for blood draws and transfusions as needed.
- After chemo cycle 2, I go to Stanford for the transplant. This assumes one of my siblings is a match and is ready to donate promptly. UPDATE: Three siblings matched. Later Stanford boiled it down to two and they are in the process of a bake-off for the best match of the remaining 2 based on other nuances that were not checked for in the preliminary tests since they don’t often have multiple matches. This may take a week or so to finalize.
- The transplant goes well and there are no or minimal adverse reactions to the transplant. Then, I think I’m cured… UPDATE: This is where it gets real folks! More on this later but here we are on the path of the unicorn!
Love and gratitude to you all! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, service, meals and generous donations to help me and my family during this process. I know God lives and prayers are answered! There are angels above and there are you angels on earth to care for and serve others. May you be blessed and your burdens lightened as you turn outward to help those around you.
With all my love and gratitude, Dan