Day 5 and we are plodding along here. At the daily clinic visit the nurses and docs assure us that everything is going downhill just like it should – blood counts dropping, appetite non-existent, energy flagging, bouts of nausea, all of which will continue to get worse over the next week. Still . . . John is doing quite well “considering what we’ve done to you”, as the lead doc so aptly put it.
At times it’s easy to wonder why we asked them to do it, especially since John’s symptoms were relatively mild prior to starting treatment. Multiple myeloma is a quiet and unpredictable disease. Chances are it was smoldering inside John’s body for several years before diagnosis. We hope that the stem cell transplant will stop the proliferation of myeloma cells in their tracks, and “turn back the clock” on the disease progression. When will we know? Typically patients have the disease re-staged about 90 days after transplant, at which time all the diagnostic tests are run again and compared to the numbers pre-transplant. Hopefully the numbers will make this all worth it.
In my endless Internet browsing on the subject of the Big C, I came across “The Last Lecture” delivered by Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. Pausch recently died of pancreatic cancer, and was invited to give this lecture just after his diagnosis. It’s not about cancer, but rather about “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, and so much more. Somebody recorded a video and threw it up on YouTube, and it became an Internet sensation. I found it highly entertaining and an hour well spent. If you’re interested, you can find it here:
John walked back and forth to the clinic today, and climbed the 99 steps upon our return. Believe me, it was a Herculean effort.