Friday, May 30, 2014

Ready for SST ?

On Wednesday, we met with the Dana-Farber Oncologists. They went over the lab results - which continue to look very good and they have decided that it is time for my stem cell transplant (SST). The only problem is scheduling. They do not want a gap between the end of chemotherapy and Stem Cell Harvest, because they don't want to give the cancer any more time than necessary to recover prior to harvesting stem cells.

So - on Thursday, I called the scheduling nurse to coordinate. She told me that it could be August before they can fit me into their schedule and that this would not be a problem since they could simply continue the chemo while I am waiting for a slot. You can imagine how thrilled I was with the opportunity for three rounds (9 weeks) of unnecessary chemo. I asked her to please make sure that this was OK with the oncologists.

This morning (Friday), I received an email from a different scheduling nurse setting up a whole bunch of pre-transplant tests in about a week, so I called her. She gave me the impression that the other nurse had had a change of heart as to when I would get the transplant (after checking with the oncologists?). So possibly, I will be starting the transplant process sooner rather than later. Apparently, they want to surprise me.

The scheduling nurse who told me that I might get my transplant in August is apparently not in today, so I will hopefully find out more on Monday. Either way, all the news at this point is good. At least they are highly encouraged by the numbers.

Meanwhile, Barbara and I have been in Westwood for the last few days. When people "leave" Fox Hill Village, they are typically not in a position to take their furniture with them. Some is taken by relatives, but other furniture is donated to FHV and placed in a basement storage area where residents can purchase it - sort of like a continuing yard sale. Barbara watches this area carefully and recently discovered a very nice dining room set - which has now been purchased and moved into our apartment. Our place actually now looks lived in. I am not completely without sin in this regard because I found a very nice marble topped coffee table which is now in front of the couch in my office.

Meanwhile, I continue to feel pretty good and apparently, I look pretty good as well. A friend who just returned from Florida told me that I did not look nearly as bad as he expected me to. So I guess that is more good news. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spending time in the Workshop

We are just wrapping up "Chemo Round 5" of this regimen and I am once again on a "break week" which means that we only had to go to Hookset once this week. It also means that we are spending the week in Meredith rather than doing our usual Meredith to Westwood on Monday and Westwood to Meredith on Thursday - both with chemo stops in Hookset. We plan to do that for the next couple of weeks.

We met with the Hookset oncologist yesterday and he says I am doing very well. Side effects of the chemo are minimal and the numbers look good. As of now, the current plan is for me to get three more cycles (3 weeks each) of chemo and then to stop the chemo to see if I have managed to get myself into remission. Alternatively, if the numbers stabilize, they might skip the last cycle or two. Meanwhile, Cycle 6 will start this coming Monday. I can hardly wait.

In the meantime, I am happy to report that I am feeling pretty good - a bit better than at the same point in the last cycle. I still can't lift everything that tempts me, and my back is a bit stiff, but I did spend some time on the tractor a couple of days ago. I can turn around and look behind me and that is a big improvement. I have also been spending a fair amount of time in my workshop. I finished the desk I was building for use at Fox Hill Village and we brought it down to FHV during our last visit. It is great to have a reasonable place to sit and work at the computer. Here is a picture of the desk

I also have a garden plot - OOPS - we are NOT supposed to call them "plots". I meant "garden bed". It is about 4 x 15 feet and I have managed to plant a few rows of lettuce, chard, beets and turnips. Almost everyone else is planting flowers. I hope the veggies don't feel out of place. I understand that rabbits get into the garden area and eat everything anyway. I am also hoping to plant a garden area here in Meredith as well.

We also now have a pet duck. Well - sort of. Last year, a mother duck set up a nest in our bushes and eventually managed to hatch 4 little ducklings. Today we noticed that she is back, having set up her nest under a bush in our front yard. There were 11 eggs in there today.

Meanwhile, Barbara has hired a decorator for FHV. He and his assistant came up to Meredith to "see how we live" and to get ideas of what we might like at Fox Hill Village. Barbara seems to have this well under control and I try to do my part by staying out of the way.

There is one other thing to celebrate: The fact that I can celebrate. Yes - that's right. I can have a glass of wine with dinner this week if I want, since I am not on chemo (after Monday). So, the question is,
How shall I celebrate?" I know - I think I will have a glass of wine!!!