It has been a busy couple of weeks with doctors appointments, but it makes it all worthwhile when the news is good! Both our local oncologist and the team at Duke continue to be pleased with EZ's stability, numbers and undetected M-spike. For now, he continues with visits every other month to the Cancer Centers of North Carolina to see Dr. Alan Kritz, and the Duke ABMT Clinic to see Dr. Cristina Gasparetto (only once a year now). They both agreed he should stay on 10 mg Revlimid as maintenance.
Why not take a little snooze while you wait?
Here is the happy patient with Dr. Gasparetto (sorry it's blurry!). She is such a wonderful, caring oncologist and spent real quality time with us:
After EZ's appointment we took a victory lap down and around the clinic hallways. How well we remember being in the position of so many we saw that day... no hair, feeling so weak and sick, sleeping, receiving stem cells, or harvesting stem cells all hooked up to that amazing aphresis machine! (For a look back on our journey, you can click on the "Stem Cell Transplant" label.) I was deeply touched by a nurse hugging and comforting a wife/caregiver who was in tears in the hallway, out of her husband's sight. We saw them walk into the clinic, and he was so weak that a staff member followed along behind him with a wheelchair fearing his strength would give out. It brought back memories of a day I felt exactly like her...scared to death! Hopefully EZ can give others hope that they too will be taking a victory lap one day. They certainly are in good hands at Duke!
Below is a look back on what I wrote the day EZ's stem cells were harvested for transplant on August 17th of 2010:
What a day of celebration this is for us as we look back on all the steps it took to get us here...23 chemotherapy treatments, 22 radiation treatments, 8 months of doctor's visits, 31 days hospitalized at Rex, 26 days unable to get out of bed, 5 months of walking with crutches or a walker, surgery to have a port put in, surgery to have the port taken out and a Hickman catheter put in, echo-cardiogram, EKG, chest x-rays, 3 bone marrow biopsies, a failed intrathecal pain pump, 2 great physical therapists, brilliant oncologists, long bone x-rays, MRIs, CTscans, and Neupogen injections. But most of all, we are here because of the power of your prayers and a mighty God who loves us and has a perfect plan for us, all in His perfect timing! Here is Ernie with his stem cell harvest after 6 hours of aphresis.
We always have to take a picture of EZ beside his pic on the Hall of Fame in the Transplant Clinic. It is encouraging to see so many survivors on that wall!!
So very thankful that, for now, all is well.