Trials and tribulations of a patient in search of a bone marrow transplant

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wherein He Decides to Fight

Steven has decided to continue the fight. We are behind him with all our strength. The leukemic blast level in his blood yesterday was 14%, today it was 29%. 24 hours and it more than doubled. It boggles the mind.

A long, long day lying in a bed at the clinic. Steven needed two units of blood and a new PICC line and fluids and a heart test and a bone marrow test. When I picked him up going to the clinic this morning, I told him he should pack a bag. Dr. Agura saw me in the hall and said, "I've decided to admit Steven to the hospital." I laughed and said I knew that already and he had his bag with him.

Dr. Agura came up with a plan. Two new chemotherapies that have not yet been used. Hoping to buy time while they do a frantic search for a donor. Time is truly of the essence this round. It can't be four months like the last time. Steven's body could not take the repeated chemos necessary. The idea is to find a different donor whose system would fight the leukemia cells harder.

Steve knows how difficult these chemos will be and he knows the odds for success are reduced, but he has been fighting for so long that he doesn't want to throw in the towel now.

It's amazing what two pints of blood did for Steve. Like watering a thirsty plant. He turned a nice color and energy returned to his voice. He cracked a joke or two and spoke positively about the upcoming treatments. Dr. Agura said that except for the leukemia, he was a healthy man. His numbers are still relatively good, although the doctor said that by next week that would change. There is not a minute to waste.

We waited all day for a room. The hospitals are full. They finally found a room on the 12th floor in Roberts but will hopefully be able to move him soon to at least 6th floor of Roberts, the cancer floor, if not into the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, which of course we would heartily wish for. Steven said it took them almost an hour to answer a call tonight. The IV team never arrived to install his lines, so we hope they get there early tomorrow. They can't start the chemo until the lines are in place.

For those of you who would like to visit, the next few days would be a good time before Steven starts to get really sick again. Also for phone calls. I am sure he would appreciate any support you can give.

And for the many who are praying for Steven, please ask that the perfect donor be guided to act quickly and to give Steven the strength to get through this ordeal.

Thank you to everyone for your continuing support. It is a great comfort to us.



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