Sometimes time seems to drag by. Other times it seems to fly. On rare occasions, it actually does fly. Now is such a time. I feel like I am in a Star Trek movie and Captain Piccard has asked for warp speed.
In my last blog, I mentioned that the transplant process could take place in as little as six weeks. Here’s where time flies. My transplant coordinator called. The transplant process is now scheduled to begin on February 20th! That’s less than four weeks from the call. Now it is even closer.
Melanie and I are scrambling to gather the items needed for a long term stay – 100 days. We had a trial run of 60 days last year. We have a fairly well developed list. I browsed through the “Patient Education Manual” for stem cell transplant patients and found a list of items recommended for inpatient stays. Those items have been added to the list.
We will not be traveling by air this trip. We will need a car while we are there in case of emergencies. We will not be staying at the hotel we frequent either. We have applied for patient housing from four housing ministries. Costs run from free to $40.00 per day. Much better than the $70.00 plus cost at MainStay Suites.
Neither Melanie nor I are ready to drive all the way to Houston. We don’t like to drive that much and Houston traffic is horrendous. Our oldest daughter, Tara, is flying in from Oregon to help us pack and drive us to our destination. She will also help us settle into our housing and visit a dear friend of hers who lives in Houston. The hard part is that we may not know which housing situation we will be using until we are on the road! I do believe we will be living by faith not sight (Heb. 11:1). We have been warned by all ministries to have a backup plan. I will make reservations at our hotel just in case.
As I looked through the “Patient” manual, I read about all the things that could happen during the transplant process. At times it seems intimidating. Over all, I’m excited about the possibility of a cure. I suspect a three week stay in the hospital will drive me into severe cabin fever. I’m sure I will be longing for fresh air and sunshine by the time the stay is over. Even the daily outpatient visits will be looking mighty good. WOW! A cure. No more CLL. No more chemo. No more recurrence. REMISSION!!!! It will be worth it all.
I do have a new resource. A high school friend of mine has undergone the same procedure several years ago. We have messaged each other through Facebook. His reports are encouraging. The results of his December tests showed him to be 100% donor. I’m praying for the same results.
Of course doubts do rise to the surface from time to time. Several years ago as part of my insurance plan, I talked to a man who had a stem cell transplant. He was doing well … except he was legally blind because of GVHD, Guest vs. Host Disease. That put me off the transplant idea at the time. However, many advances have been developed since his transplant. A more recent scare comes from Carman Licciardello. If you are into Christian music, Carman may be familiar to you. (My favorite is his 1985 hit, “The Champion”. He has a different form of blood cancer and is being treated with a stem cell transplant. He is not handling the chemo well and has been hospitalized. Please pray for him. Two things separate us. His cancer is vastly different from mine, therefore his treatment is much different as well. Still, I read about his struggles and can’t help but wonder.
Melanie and I have people around the world praying for us. We thank you all. Your faith and prayers have brought us this far. They will carry us through to the end. If you want direction for your prayers, here are a few: 1) housing, 2) finances, 3) house/pet sitter, 4) a strong support group for Melanie as my caregiver, and 5) no complications for me.
I will keep you updated. I also plan to keep posting throughout the process. They may be short. You can also follow daily reports, once we begin the process, at my Facebook page, Harley’s Super Heroes.
I’ve rambled enough for the time being. Ta-ta for now.