Plans change, but God's timing is perfect!
Lots of news to report. First, the results of Lorelei's PET scan last Friday were great. She's not yet cancer free but her scan showed remarkable improvement. That means the cancer is responding as we had hoped to the RICE chemo. It was sooooo encouraging for Lorelei to finally receive good news from a PET scan. Thank you to all who prayed for her through her anxiety over this.
The MRI looking for the source of Lorelei's back pain did not show anything remarkable. Likely she is experiencing pain related to her scoliosis and her new largely sedentary lifestyle. She'll change that once she's beat this cancer monster.
The Bone Marrow Biopsy Lorelei had last Thursday shows her marrow to be clear of cancer! So, that means she'll get to use her own stem cells and Hannah is "off the hook." ;) This means the transplant will be called an "Autologous Stem Cell Transplant."
Lorelei's transplant oncologist does want her to go ahead and undergo a third round of RICE chemo. So, she'll check into Baptist next Monday Sept. 24 to begin that. (It's what's best for Lorelei to achieve the most positive outcome and has nothing to do with having to wait for a bed.) She'll be there for four days and on Friday Sept 28 she will have a neulasta shot.
Also, while Lorelei is in the hospital this time she will undergo another procedure to replace the Hickman catheter she currently has with one that is bigger and designed for dialysis. The one that is in place is too small and may collapse during the process. Rather than having to use Lorelei's veins (one in each arm for four days) we believe a new catheter is best. They can replace it with a less invasive procedure than the first because they can insert a "guide wire" through the current one and slide it off and then place the new one via the guide wire. It should be something they can do via conscious sedation instead of general anesthesia.
Then about 11 days after this third round of RICE, around October 8 or 9, she'll begin Neupagen injections. These Neupagen injections will stimulate her bone marrow to begin producing white blood cells at a very accelerated rate. A normal white count is 10,000 but these might cause her counts to rise to 30 or 40,000. She'll go to OBI (Oklahoma Blood Institute) each day to test her CBC. When her counts are high enough they will begin to harvest her cells. They will do this daily (over a period of about four hours) for three or four days till they have enough cells stored. The dialysis process will remove her blood from one of the lumens of her catheter, extract the white cells (containing stem cells), heat everything else back up and then put it back through the other lumen. The white cells will be transported over to OU for treatment and storage until it's time for the transplant.
The plan is for Lorelei to check into OU on Friday the 19th of October to begin the high dose chemo for the transplant. Knowing plans change, it could be as late as October 25 that this actually begins. Once it has begun she should plan to be in the hospital for about four weeks. We hope to bring our newly cancer free daughter home before Thanksgiving!
Posted on Wed, September 19, 2012
by Andrea Decker