Update: Episode 43 (5/15/16)

Title of today’s episode:  Dudley and Nell get excellent news

Just a quick note to give you all the latest…We had our biopsy follow up appointment with my doctor Friday, and she said it showed I am 100% donor (Connor) and no presence of leukemia – THIS IS WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR!   Yea!!  We still have a long way to go, with challenges ahead, but this is clearly great news.  Right now I feel really good (we even went to a Washington Nationals baseball game last night).
My doctor said I should expect the standard post-transplant slump, so I’ll start feeling worse for 4-6 weeks and my blood counts will drop.  It’s all part of the process and requires – surprise – patience (there’s that word raising its head again)!  We need to be careful and take it slow…as the doctor said Friday “this transplant needs to last forever” (you only get to have two).
Enjoy the spring, stay dry (we had rain in DC area for 16 straight days), and HOPEFULLY it will warm up!  You’ll recognize me around town – I’ll be in the hat and a mask!
God’s Blessings,
Paul and Terri
PS… We had come out of the transplant and heard the biopsy news on such a high, it’s a little of a bummer to remember the coming slump, and that Paul likely looks forward to being on a chemo pill for the rest of his life, but day-by-day we stick with the process and stay positive throughout the journey!

Update: Episode 42 (5/9/16)

Title of today’s episode:  Dudley and Nell successfully make it back to base camp and are thrilled.

On Friday afternoon, after 9+ weeks in Baltimore, we returned home and got to sleep in our own bed!   Before we left Hopkins, I got my Hickman port pulled (literally, the doctor just yanks it out of your chest!) and had yet another bone marrow biopsy.  I have a followup appointment this Friday to review the results of the biopsy.
It’s so great to be home and there’s so much to do, but I need to pace myself in the near term (and am NOT doing a good job so far) until my systems get stronger, so I should limit how much I bite off.  We’ve managed to unpack (mostly) and both of us are committed to decluttering so we’re creating piles of stuff for a yard sale or charity.
We continued our tradition of watching the Kentucky Derby Saturday, albeit quite a bit more low key than we have in the past – sans the big party, this time just with Terri’s sister and brother-in-law.  We are enjoying connecting with family and friends and looking forward to more of the same.
The toughest part has been going through all of Chance’s stuff.  We’ve been washing beds, blankets and coats, and putting away  other items, alternating between happy memories of our pooch and sadness over his absence…
My blood tests a month ago said my blood was 100% donor, but the results of the marrow will be the true measure of status.  So we wait for Friday, keeping positive the results will be good and keeping us on the road to recovery.  Since we’ve had that outlook throughout this 2 1/2 year adventure, no sense in changing now, eh?
God’s Blessings,
Paul and Terri
PS…As Paul mentioned we have many things we want to do now that we’re home and I think I am A.D.D.-ing a bit going from one thing to another.  I work really well with a list, but so far I keep writing things on a scrap of paper and putting it “somewhere.”  The 300 square feet we were living in was tiny, but we didn’t lose much!  Slowly we’re wresting control from the “stuff.” For me Friday’s appointment is only a confirmation of his 100% Connor bone marrow status – with all of us thinking positive thoughts for it, how could it be otherwise??