7/5/2007: A 'Frigid Breeze' in July


"If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." -- Mark 9:23(NIV)
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For Southern California or almost anywhere north of the equator in July, it is rare to face a frigid breeze. But that seems to be what we faced today with a call from our COH physician, Dr. R. Nakamura.
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As you know, we have been preparing for the allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) on July 20. Consult this source provided by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for more information about SCT.
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Now, due to the fact that the lymphoma has returned in less than three weeks since the last chemo (and this has been the pattern for the last several chemo sessions), Dr. Nakamura is hesitant to keep July 23 as the transplant date. In fact he is posing the suggestion that the transplant will not be successful due to the aggressive nature of my lymphoma. He is not ruling out the transplant and has rescheduled the procedure for August 13, pending future developments.
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We are set for a consultation at City of Hope tomorrow and the possibility of a different round of chemo this coming week. Again, the transplant date and reality will depend upon how long the new drugs are able to contol the presence of the lymphoma.
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Otherwise, we will simply go into a maintenance mode for as long as that can last and not seek the "cure option" that the transplant may provide.
Our hope and prayer is that these new drugs will present "remission" or control of the lymphona for the period of time that suggests the transplant is an acceptable risk. Without that evidence, it is probably not prudent to proceed on this track.
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Meanwhile, this has been the most difficult week of my 15 months of care. We had to be admitted to COH last Saturday for four days due to a bad reaction from the spinal tap done a week prior. Severe headaches came on and the only relief was found in continuously lying flat and taking prescribed narcotics.
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We found temporary relief on Tuesday when a COH radiologist performed a "blood patch" procedure to plug the hole created by the spinal tap, but the headaches returned Wednesday and continue today. This may be something that only time will heal. However, the "good news" of the week was found in the results of the spinal tap: negative! No sign of the lymphoma in the spinal fluid. The physician assistant who perfored the procedure injected chemo at that time as a preventive step, but this may be another reason for the prolonged headaches.

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