Saturday, September 17, 2016

What's Next?

Yesterday we met with Dr. Kadia for my regular appointment. It had been three weeks since my last meeting with him, but well over a month since Janine was in the doctor's office because she was back in Meridian during the funeral and celebration of her mother's wonderful life. Our time with him and with Alexis, our favorite PA, was mostly about future plans. We were wanting a better understanding from the "team" about the plan for my treatment in the coming weeks and months, the short term goals. Specifically, we hoped to find out if the current chemo treatment could be sustained for many more cycles and/or if we were still preparing for a stem cell transplant In the near future. Always in our consideration is the stem cell transplant, the only known cure for my MDS condition. Success rates of 5O% or less and the very costly and difficult recovery process make this a hard decision. Right now there are no other good "miracle" drug trials available and nothing on the horizon that gives us hope other than maintenance through more chemo or taking the transplant plunge. 

Also we expressed our need for a "vacation". This chemo process and the frequent labs make getting away for anything longer than one day almost impossible. Dr. Kadia agreed we can suspend treatment in between cycles for about a week to ten days provided my counts respond favorably to this current cycle. Not that we plan to cruise the Caribbean or the Aegean Sea it would be nice to get away for a beach trip or early fall Carolina mountain retreat.

Last month Janine snapped this picture of me lying in bed while I was getting a blood transfusion. The multicolored blanket is the focal point of the picture. Our friend Susan Sumrall crocheted this beautiful gift for me and it has been my favorite companion for the past 30+ months. Everywhere we go it draws positive comments from friends and strangers alike who share in our medical journey. It is more than a traditional security blanket because I get quite cold when recieving treatment. The warmth and comfort of a blanket is a small convenience while the love and healing that comes from our connection to our church friends is symbolized by Susan's colorful offering. Thank you Susan, Briarwood, WCPC and the hundreds of friends, family and friends of family who are connected to us in prayer and loving encouragement.

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