I was fortunate to have Adam come with me today to my appointment with my local oncologist, Dr. Arteta. It is always good to have the love and support of family as well as a second set of ears and a different perspective. As usual, I had written down my questions for Dr. Arteta. And, without even looking Dr. Arteta asked me, "what questions do you have on your list?" He knows me so well.
My questions today were mostly about the near future and specifically, can he do the "Big" chemo. The answer appears to be yes! There is nothing mysterious or new in the upcoming phase 2 chemo and MSTI here locally appears to have the ability to do the regimen. The real question comes with will MD Anderson supervise this on my behalf or will they be insistent, for lack of a better word, on keeping me in Houston for this part of my treatment. Phase 2 is not the trial drug, but it is part of the trial in that they do a different chemo treatment every other time and they have shortened the overall number of cycles from 8 to 4. We will see; first thing is first, I need to get into remission (first check is December 27).
I did learn today that my hemoglobin has dropped from 10.3 two weeks ago to 9.8 last week, I believe the low end of normal is 12. I will not get my results back from today's draw for another couple days. Dr. Arteta told me that while I don't need blood yet, this is a low number. This explains my need to nap and my lack of energy by the end of the day.
I am asked often what people can do to help. I am learning that donating blood and platelets is a request that I should start asking of people in response. Granted, any blood or platelets donated will not be stored nor saved for me personally, but it will be truly life saving for someone, and that someone, in perhaps a week or so, may just be me. Thank you in advance for this consideration.
I would like to recognize a couple of unknown angels that have crossed my path in recent days. There was the gal on the other end of the phone who has never met me yet told me that she and her husband would gladly donate blood or bone marrow if needed and that she would gladly dog sit for me as well (how did she know about Tucker?! LOL).
There was the kind volunteers today at MSTI; one who brought her companion dog, Lucy Mae, into the waiting room for all of us to ooh and aww over. She was a beautiful, slight built golden retriever. What a great treat that was. Speaking of treat, another volunteer makes cookies for no reason at all every Tuesday and brings them in to the patients. I was fortunate enough to grab a little slice of heaven in that cranberry, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate cookie. Adam missed out by declining!
And as always, there is all of you who are so encouraging through this journey. Your notes to me, calls, texts, PM's, emails and visits are worth more than you will ever know. Through your encouragement I am feeling more confident to really put out my raw and honest feelings, to reach out to people that I may not have talked to in some time, and to continue to remember that together we can make a difference; you all certainly are for me. I love you all for your support and hope to see, talk, message or text with you soon.