We returned from MD Anderson this past Wednesday. It was an emotional and
physical draining ten days.
After many tests and several doctor's appointments we now have a plan. The
plan is to remove my spleen and then follow with a bone marrow transplant. We
will live in Houston for approximately six months before we get to return to
The surgeon who will do the splenectomy told us I am not in shape physically
to survive the post surgery healing process. I have lost 20 pounds in the last
2 months and my energy level and physical appearance is not well.
We met with a dietician and she calculated that I am eating 1700 calories a
day. For my height and "normal" weight I should be eating 2400 calories. She
gave us a lot of good tips, a calorie counter and a form to record my daily
Since we've returned Haha has become the food police asking me (what seems
like) every half hour if I want something to eat!!! I am taking this seriously
and since we've returned I've met or exceeded the daily goal.
We will return to Houston near the end of March for a re-evaluation of my
physical well being. If they clear me then we will come back home, pack, and
drive to Houston for our six month stay. The splenectomy and recovery time will
be anywhere from 2 weeks to a month and then we'll proceed with the
transplant...assuming they find a matching donor! We'll know the donor status
near the end of this month.
After the transplant I will remain in the hospital for 30 days. The next 70
days after that we will return to our Houston apartment and will have to go to
the cancer center several times a day. I will be very susceptible to infection
during the first 6 months after the transplant. This is due to the fact that my
immune system will be slowly rebuilding itself.
So that's it in a nutshell. We will be making calls this next week trying to
find an apartment and deciding what we will need to take for our six month
Before I sign off I want to share three more things with you. This short
poem is from the Houston Chronicle:
Come close to death
and you begin to see
what's under your nose.
The second item is that I was told before we went to the cancer center that
I would end up losing my hair from the chemo I get before the transplant. Well,
I came up with an idea to help defray the cost of keeping two apartments! I was
going to sell advertising space on my bald head! I figured the "choice spots"
would be the back of the head and then the sides. In order to make the top a
premium spot I came up with a mini billboard idea that I would place on top of
my head attached with rubber bands and put those over my ears to keep the
billboard in place! The transplant doctor told me I shouldn't lose any hair
because the chemo dose will be small. Oh well back to the drawing board!
Finally, if anyone is interested in becoming a bone marrow donor you can
check out what it's all about at www.marrow.org.
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. A tough road is ahead but with your
support we can make it through!
Chichi & Haha