Saturday, July 23, 2005

At home!

Dear Friends—

Here’s the good news: I’m home!!!

I’m sitting at the desk in my study, looking out over our jungly backyard, and so thrilled to be home I can hardly stand it! Last night I slept in my own bed, with Anna by my side, for the first time in 28 days; no one woke me at midnight to give me meds I could have taken an hour earlier, no one came in at 6 AM to draw the daily blood sample… It was wonderful! I’ve been luxuriating all day in just being home—even being able to lie down and rest in different rooms is a treat…

We came home about 5:30 yesterday (Friday 22 July) after a long, long day of waiting for word from my oncologist, Dr. Tucker, about the results of Thursday’s bone marrow biopsy, latest in a continuing series…. Anna had gone across the street to Texas French Bread, to get an iced coffee for herself and a brownie for me (needed in order to satisfy my “high caloric requirements”).  There she found Dr. Tucker, who had been talking with the pathologist on the phone about my test (results weren’t in yet) and had stopped off to buy cookies for his kids on his way over to the hospital to see me. (Yes, Austin is a casual place!)

The pathologist hadn’t in fact been able to reach a definitive conclusion: there were some blast cells (immature white cells) in the sample he was examining, but evidently he couldn’t tell for certain whether they were normal cells (immature white cells on their way to becoming something useful) or abnormal ones, the kind that leukemia causes to proliferate wildly. So he had sent for some of the slides from the original bone marrow biopsy that had been done on 26 June, and that’s where things seem to be right now—we’re waiting for the word.

There are three possible scenarios:
  • The test is inconclusive and I go to the doctor’s office on Monday for yet another bone marrow biopsy (this will be #5). I think this is the most likely.  Then we wait again for the results, which would probably come sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.  Depending on the outcome, I either go back to the hospital for another round of inpatient chemo, or I stay home and recuperate some more, then begin “consolidation chemo” as an outpatient the following week.

  • Second possibility: the pathologist detects leukemia cells in Thursday’s biopsy and I check back into the hospital for another round of inpatient chemo…Keeping our fingers crossed that this isn’t it.

  • Third possibility: the pathologist concludes that my bone marrow is free of leukemic cells and I stay home, then start consolidation chemo as an outpatient next week.  This is my personal favorite among the scenarios…

  • Meanwhile, I’m at home with Anna and Dillon, reveling in being here, in being able to see the sunlight outside without having to go out into the intense Austin heat, and deeply, deeply grateful for the love and support and good wishes that continue to come from so many friends in so many places.  I can’t tell you how much the love and prayers have meant to us; I know that each of you is a vital support in my recovery, and I’m grateful beyond words.

So here’s to being at home, and here’s to all of you.

More soon.

John, Anna, and Dillon


Post a Comment

<< Home