Saturday, July 30, 2011

early return home

Pops got cleared for landing back to the house today. I was lucky to swing a flight through GA, Jena and Joey made it up, Lia was here, so it was a very joyous homecoming. He feels great, and looks great. Thanks for all the prayers. They're working. next up, hopefully he can finally get some good solid rest.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quick incline

Two days ago dad spiked another fever, felt terrible, and had to undertake several multi-hour infusions to battle.  Since, he has continually grown stronger and felt better.  His bone marrow is now grafted and internally beginning to produce white blood cells.  Progress is on track.  In fact, he was progressing so well the doctors have released him from the hospital as of a few minutes ago.  He will be staying at a nearby hotel so the doctors can be readily available for checkups or unforseen challenges.  Altogether very promising news.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday Night Fights

As we all know, Dad loves to watch boxing on Friday nights, "The Friday Night Fights."
Unfortunately, this week he was more of a contender than an observer. A very appropriate reference by Lia, who is still home helping so graciously.

Dad's chemo and stem-cell transplant operations are definitely going better than expected according to almost any account. The nurse's sometimes jokingly call him "low maintenance." (Mom do you agree he's low maintenance ;)

But, his recovery has not been without pitfalls. Last night he spiked a temperature, which is extremely dangerous when you don't have any white-blood cells. This friday night fight called on the help of the corner. With some transfusions and a morphine shot, it now appears his temperature is receding, and Dad is felling better, but will still need some good solid rest today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

mailing address

have had a couple requests on best address to send a card.
the best address is probably my parents' Fayetteville home address since my mom is going back and forth essentially daily, and my dad's room can and will be changing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

still standing tall (and walking)

the chemo has all been administered and the doctors expected the decline to be in motion so far, but Dad is still feeling pretty good. no real loss of appetite, no weight loss, or hair loss yet. he's even been able to get up and around and go for some walks on the Emory campus with Mom and Lia, who's been in visiting and helping since Wednesday. it's nice too that the weather has been good, British Open has been on, and he has so many great friends.

the hospital staff has been very friendly too. when he got his infusion of stem cells and transfusion of new blood they threw him his new "birthday" party. this process in many ways a new birth because you shed so much (good and bad) with the old blood including all previous vaccines. when the process is all over, he'll need to get all new vaccinations.

there has been some minor symptoms so far such as low blood pressure, a silky taste to all food and drink, and a couple rounds of hiccups (might just be karma from playing "hiccups" with leo so much), but overall he's still hanging very tough. we don't want to be naive, and know that status can falter quite quickly, but are very grateful for all the success so far.

Monday, July 11, 2011

stem cell transplant

well, things had gone well for a while.
he banked health stem cells, and felt while for a while.
yeah he had to take some stiff meds, but he was even acclimating to those.
there was a little hiccup with the meds and his heart, but the docs were able to time a good jolt and fix that too.

then, during a recent checkup, the doctors suggested it would be prudent to undergo the stem cell transplant now with the fully healthy stem cells he had banked last year. i'm not sure if the myeloma was re-emerging at a dangerous pace, but part of the thinking was that it would be smart to undergo the heavy operation while he was healthy and strong. treatments for mm are progressing rapidly, and having this operation now will ensure he recovers safely, he has very low levels of mm for a long time after that.

he's had a couple days of pre check-in medication that was supposed to bring some nausea and side effects but he weathered it in really good spirits.
he checked into the hospital today, and they actually started the chemo treatment of the stem cell transplant this evening.

from my basic understanding of the procedure the timeline will go something like this.
as the chemicals take stronger and stronger hold, and kill good and bad, his condition will temporarily deteriorate.
the decline should become apparent later this week, and the following week and half after that should be a trough.
after that, his healthy cells will begin to be infused and he will also initiate internal recovery, and his status will only progress.
if all goes to schedule he will be able to check-out of the hospital at the end of the month, ~ 28 July.

wish him luck, keep the old bear in your prayers again.
will keep you updated on the milestones.