Thursday, November 18, 2010

A girl's got A LOT to live for!

Today was life changing.

I had an appointment with a transplant specialist from Denver.  He is with the Rocky Mountain Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Presbyterian-St.Luke's Medical Center in Denver, CO.  (that's a mouth full)

It was a consult appointment, so I expected it to be about 40 minutes long....but 2 1/2 hours later we had some very interesting information to think about. 

First a transplant coordinator came in to talk to Larry and I about what a transplant entails, and then Dr. B (the specialist) came in to go over the specifics of my case.  He said that with lymphoma it is not a matter of "if" it will transform to a higher grade, as much as "when".  He also said he didn't know why mine had transformed so quickly ( usually it takes years and years to transform).  But, since it had transformed into a more aggressive cancer that I would be a good candidate for a "first remission transplant".  Basically, that means, I would finish out my 6 cycles of R-Chop chemo, and then immediately harvest and transplant my own clean, cancer-free bone marrow (autologous).   
   Dr. B said having this done would give me a 70% chance of long term survival cancer free.  Let me just repeat.....SEVENTY PERCENT.   So, you would think that's a no-brainer...and it is.  And yes, I will have this done.  But the logistics are going to be the next thing to figure out.  There are several steps in preparation for a transplant.  Plus there are lots of pros and cons.  

1. He works out of Denver, which is where I would have the transplant. ( I live in Grand Junction= 4 hrs away)
2. Once I start the process, I would be IN-PATIENT for 30-40 days.
3. They would have to completely remove my immune system (the sick one), to replace it (with a cancer free one)
4.  My kids could not visit my in the hospital (see #3)
5. There is a 3 month recovery, plus about 1 year before my immune system would return to "normal"
6. I would be away from my kids for 30-40 days


These lists are partial, because there are so, so many details.  I will also be getting a 2nd opinion possibly in Salt Lake.  A lot of options to weigh. 

CHEMO UPDATE:  I have been feeling fairly good this week.  I am still very achy from the Neulasta shot, but the doctor today said that was normal for it to take a little longer with each treatment as it takes my immune system longer each time to recover.  Also, tonight I'm trying a new sleeping pill :)  Wish me luck!  I'm tired of seeing 3am!

How 'bout a good pic instead??

I know right??  A-dor-able!!!!   A girl's got a lot to live for!!!


  1. Yes, you do have a lot to live for, my friend. And you are surrounded by people who love you and your family and would do anything to make it easier for all of you.

    This is great news. Keep the updates coming.

  2. That sweetie at the bottom looks like she could tolerate you being gone 30 days if that meant she got you an extra 30 years.
    Found you through Annie, by the way.
    Best of luck to you!!

  3. By the way, you might want to introduce yourself to She has had thyroid cancer, and has had to do the isolation thing. She might have some words of experience for you.

  4. The BMT group in Salt Lake is wonderful. At least they were 7 years ago when my husband had his. 70% is fabulous! Good luck!