Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Update...Long Overdue

Sorry for not updating sooner, it's been a very busy/hectic couple of months. Rather than inundate you with the all the lovely details, I'll just bullet point it:
  • For a host of reasons that I may go into in another post, in-patient chemotherapy was an absolute disaster at Penn and I've now transitioned to a new doctor and treatment facility at Temple. Penn = great reputation, poor execution. They're just too big.
  • I completed the 2nd and 3rd cycles of ICE chemo therapy (one at Penn, one at Temple) with no major incidents
  • We're now prepping for the stem-cell harvest which should take place next week
  • The cancer has only partially responded to this latest chemotherapy so now we're going to have to integrate radiation into the treatment before the transplant
  • Radiation should start the 28th and is out-patient with "minimal" (we'll see) side effects. We won't know what kind of radiation or for how long until next week's PET scan.
  • Transplant will start either 11/4 or 11/11, depending on the radiation schedule
  • The transplant will be done at Temple's Fox Chase Cancer Center location near Jenkintown and will take about a month to complete.
To my east coast friends, I'm sorry that I haven't gotten to see very many of you even though I've been back almost 2 months. Between all the pre-transplant testing and visits, transitioning between doctors/treatment centers in mid-stream, and concerns about my lowered immune system (especially around kids), it just hasn't been feasible. I'd like to say it will happen soon but I can't promise it. There might be some time in about 2 weeks when I'm recovered from this last chemo and starting radiation but the schedule is still so fluid. Once I complete transplant, I'm not supposed to leave the house for at least 2 months so it's not looking great for getting out to visit over the holidays either. It's been extremely frustrating being back here with such great weather and not being able to enjoy it or hang out with friends. That was supposed to be the silver lining to all this but that's been taken away too.

There have been questions about coming to visit me while I'm in the hospital for the transplant. While I appreciate the thought, at this time, I don't think I want to have any visitors while I'm going through that. I'm pretty miserable with just the "regular" chemo while I'm in there, never mind the high dose stuff I'll be getting during the transplant. That may change after a few weeks in there but for now, check with Julie if you're thinking about visiting. I figure I'll be more up for visitors when I'm at home recovering but stuck in lockdown for 2 months.

I probably won't have another update until we do the next PET scan and decide on the course of radiation treatment at the end of next week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brian, I was reading a few of your posts and just wanted to thank you for sharing your journey. I just had a quick question about your blog and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance, thanks : )