PETS and ESRS, the alphabet soup of Hodgkin Lymphoma
Lorelei's ESR (sed rate) has been elevated over her past three blood tests. (The ESR is one of many markers used in monitoring Hodgkin Lymphoma activity. Any inflammation in the body can elevate the ESR.) Lorelei's ESR was elevated last January when she was first diagnosed but dropped to normal levels after chemotherapy began. Steroids are routinely given as part of the chemotherapy treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma and Lorelei received them in mega doses most of last year. She's gone five months without taking any steroids and her ESR has been in normal ranges until recently.
We are praying this elevation is merely caused by something like a virus or allergies, but just to be safe Dr. Nunez at MD Anderson wants to do a PET scan on Monday April 29. This will help rule out an increase in cancerous activity as being the cause. It will also let us know if we're getting closer to remission.
Assuming the results of this PET scan (her 8th) are as encouraging as the news from her last one, we may decide to delay the transplant and do another six week round (or several more) of Brentuximab before proceeding into transplant. If it's continuing to work at killing her cancer it stands to reason we should do as much of it as possible before the transplant. The ideal scenario would be to get to remission before the transplant. (The stem cells collected from Hannah can remain frozen for years.) Post-transplant thrombocytopenia makes doing more Brentuximab after the transplant not an option.
The PET is scheduled for April 29. So, we'll depart for Houston one week from today (on Sunday the 28th) not really knowing when we'll be returning. It's conceivable we could begin the transplant process on May 1 but just as possible we'll be returning to OKC that day. Thankfully, over these past 15 months God has taught us the art of living in this type of uncertainty. I used to view uncertainty as a bad thing, but now it's just a daily reminder to live in the moment. There is only one kind of uncertainty one should never accept. That has to do with the certainty of one's eternal life. Of this we are 100% certain. Lorelei recently recorded a video talking about faith and certainty. Please share this web link (and the accompanying video) with everyone you know. http://iBelieveOKC.com
And we all know it's not breaking Lorelei's heart one little bit that she'll be in Houston on April 29. Guess who will be rooting on her Thunder as they play the Rockets in the 4th game of the playoff series. Hopefully we can get tickets! (Superstition herein has caused me to remove any possible mention of floor cleaning tools from this post so I don't jinx the team.) Look for Lorelei on Thunder Live tonight before the 8:30pm playoff game #1 of the Thunder vs. Rockets series. She's thrilled about the invitation to appear again.
The photo above is a screenshot during the video of Lorelei "blowing on and holstering the guns" after Russell Westbrook makes a three.
Posted on Sun, April 21, 2013
by Andrea Decker