Again, thank you all for your support while we’ve waited for my sister to become a viable stem cell donor.
So now the cancer treatment roller coaster has shifted into warp speed (at least if feels that way). We’ve both undergone nearly two weeks of evaluations and are both cleared for the stem cell procedure. I had a central line port put in today to support all the infusions in my future and on Thursday I start five days of chemo followed by a day of rest and then I’ll receive my sister’s donor stem cells. It’s all full speed ahead to beat this very aggressive form of bone marrow cancer.
The real challenge will begin after the transplant. I will not have any immune system for several weeks and it can take up to 2 years to build some reasonable defenses against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. The other primary challenge will be fighting through Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) which is caused by my new immune systems response to my own body, which it will initially recognize as a foreign body to be destroyed.
The first 100 days will be the most critical so we will be living at the Pete Gross House near the Fred Hutchinson Research Center. For certain issues that may arise, we need to be within 30 minutes of the clinic and UW hospital which is just not possible from our home in Sammamish.
There are so many folks looking out for us we’ll be pretty challenged to respond to phone calls and emails. During the 100 days and probably beyond we are going to strongly discourage visitors due to the risks of bringing in outside infections.
Once again, I’m sure I’ve missed someone on this email. Please forward on so they can help us update our list.