Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stem Cell Harvest

The stem cell harvest was completed last week, and was successful. Over the course of about 11 hours hooked up to the machine, I collected 9.37 million stem cells. The high end of my excellent transplant team’s goal was 10 million, so they seemed very pleased with the results, and if they’re happy, I’m happy. The next step is to re-stage the cancer to determine how the two rounds of chemotherapy have worked. That process begins tomorrow, with a CAT scan, and a PET/CT scan. I will see the doctor on Wednesday to get the results of these tests and to determine next steps. My current understanding is that if the news is great (the cancer is in a full remission) then I will begin the transplant immediately. If the scan shows that there has been some success with chemo, but it has not been completely effective, we may proceed with additional rounds of chemotherapy (and there’s a slim chance of more radiation being used). If the cancer isn’t better, or is worse, then we reassess the full plan. Whatever happens, I will post an update sometime Wednesday or Thursday.

In the meanwhile, I have been keeping busy and distracted and enjoying home and the city as much as possible. It’s been snowing a lot here, and I am re-learning how to not drive like a DC resident in the snow (sorry everyone, but you have to admit that DC drivers are wussy about snowy weather!), spending lots of time in the city doing cool stuff (my insider tour of the Harpo studio was a highlight this week! Thanks Katie Baker!) and enjoying lots of out-of-town visitors (a planned visit from Emily and Julie, with surprise visitor, my college roommate Erica!) It is also really quite nice to be able to sleep as much as I need to, rest when I feel like it, and not have the pressure of maintaining too busy a schedule when I feel sick.

In addition to this brief medical update, I've posted the letter I previously mentioned receiving from then-candidate, now president-elect Obama! If you click on it, it will open in a new window, full sized. I can’t wait to see what an administration made up of the people coordinated and talented enough to respond to what I guess one could call campaign constituent needs, is going to do to make change in this country.


Dena said...

That letter is amazing! Just like YOU!

Kate said...

Holy freaking awesome letter! SAVE THAT! Crazy. Can't wait to see him in charge. :)

Sooo, are you trying to tell me that touring Harpo studios was cooler than working, say, a 19th L'Taken? This weekend was my seventh, & boy, was it weird. Teach me how to be a successful & prosperous former LA, O Wise One!

Glad things went well with the stem cell harvest - I'll be looking forward to your update. Until then, enjoy Chi-town & take advantage of the opportunities to relax & take it slow. XOXO. Miss you.

Mfranks said...

That letter is fantastic, Elissa. Looking forward to seeing your next update this week! Hugs and xoxo

Jamie: said...

Pretty effing cool, Lis! Have you framed it yet??