I think this was a first…all news was good news! My appointment with Dr. Hosing went very well. I get to take my sirolimus every other day instead of every day. We are watching closely for any problems, but so far no signs of graft vs host. I totally understand that GVHD can pop up at any time, even years from now. I have been on this reduced schedule for 3 weeks and I am thrilled! In fact I feel better than I have in a very long time. Robert’s (my donor) immune system is going to be awesome I can already tell! Dr. Hosing doesn’t need to see me for 6 months. This is a first. I have been going every month, and then last time, 3 months. This is progress! I am going to miss Dr. Hosing, Erin, and Kelly! I got 5 immunizations, 2 in one arm and 3 in the other. Wow, after those injections and then a bone marrow biopsy, I was pretty sore! But we were off to Philly to meet Robert so it didn’t matter!
While at the hospital, I went up to the 8th floor in the Leukemia department to see Dr. Garcia-Manero. He had read my MD Anderson Cancerwise post about him and had called me, so I asked him if I could come find him. It was really good to see him and hug his neck. What a special man and awesome doctor! Here is a picture:
Another visit I wanted to make was to the 11th floor where I was hospitalized for my stem cell transplant. Wade and I got off of the elevator, went around the corner, and the flood gates just opened right up! I experienced a lot of emotions that I was not expecting. I was just hoping to see Jerusha or Mara, my nurses! I didn’t get to see them, but I unexpectedly ran in to Alison Gulbis, my very first PharmD whom I love! She was making rounds up there. I got to see a photo of her baby girl, who is beautiful just like Alison! Alison is extremely good at her job. She helped me out of some bad times with good meds! Thank you Alison!
The month of August is Houston Restaurant Weeks, which is a great thing. You can eat at very expensive restaurants for $35.00 per person with $5.00 going to the Houston Food Bank. Three or four courses with several choices. It is a great way to try new places to eat, especially the pricey ones! And to help the hungry. Last year this program raised over $800,000! That’s exciting! We tried Brenner’s on the Bayou with friends Lucy Richardson (Media Specialist at MD Anderson) and John Moffett. It was great fun! We also tried III Forks which is downtown, with friends Patti (my bone marrow biopsy nurse) and Richard, it was delicious! And we had great Mexican food at Sylvia’s with Kelli. Fun times!
This week I am in the throes of chemo…my 11th cycle. My fatigue gets unbelievable at times, but the worst side effect this time is that my teeth are extremely sensitive. It feels like every single nerve is exposed and screaming! Since I will be finished with the Vidaza after 12 cycles, I’m not griping because I’m nearly there! There was a time around the 8th cycle that I thought I couldn’t make it. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. The only reason I kept on keeping on was because I didn’t want the first 8 cycles to be in vain! And Dr. Hosing felt like this was an important thing for me to do to help increase my odds of NOT having a relapse. Almost there!
There are definitely ups and downs in cancer treatment, and I feel like I am finally in the ups!!!
Be kind, smile a lot, and love the one you’re with:)