Friday, April 02, 2004

Medical Update - April 2, 2004

March 30th - I spoke with Emily Boyer, Dr. Rowley’s nurse, (Dr. Rowley is my transplant doctor) with whom I discussed preliminary steps regarding transplant. Cigna requires that I have both gynecological and dental exams to clear any problems in those areas before they approve bone marrow transplant.

I confirmed with Emily that Karen came back as a ½ match and Barbara is the match. Of course, HUMC will retype Barbara and me, which is standard procedure. Barbara will need to go in for a blood work-up and since she’s over 35, an EKG will be needed as well. They can do her HLA typing at that time so all of it can be done in one appointment. I have to have tests completed, also—HLA typing, EKG, CAT Scan, Heart Muggle, chest x-rays, and pulmonary tests (all were performed back in December but I’ve also been through four rounds of chemotherapy since then). Barbara and I will need to attend an allogeneic transplant class. April classes are the 6th and the 20th. May is always an option too if we can’t make the April dates, but I’m hoping we can schedule the bone marrow transplant for mid to late May. The time line for the transplant is dependent upon Barbara, for the most part, so she must be involved in the decision making process. I want to make sure nothing harms that child and if it means waiting until August when the baby is born then so be it—we wait. I’ll just go through all four cycles of the Hyper-CVAD.

March 31st - I spoke with Emily Boyer again today and she will be contacting Barbara next week. Barbara is required to have a separate consult with an oncologist not directly associated with my case (Goldberg and Rowley pose conflicts of interest) as well as a high-risk obstetrician. These doctors will ensure that what is done is in Barbara’s best interest and safe for the baby.

Emily also informed me that both Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Rowley feel it is necessary that I have the transplant. My cytology shows that there is some component in the bone marrow which makes me more likely to relapse once I’ve achieved remission, so that puts me in the high-risk category. That’s good to know because it makes my decision easier, especially knowing that both my doctors feel transplant is in my best interest.

April 1st – I am scheduled for my tests April 14th at 8:45AM. A heart MUGA-scan is first, then the pulmonary exam, and after that the EKG and chest x-rays. A bone marrow extraction needs to be scheduled soon so that we can determine if I’m in remission or not.

I leave for Indiana next Wednesday for the Easter weekend, and I’m so excited about seeing my family! Barbara, Dan, Aidan, and I are flying together. Karen and Jeff will come in Friday (with Dante—their baby, a huge lab/husky mix), so the whole Ludwig clan will be together. I think it will do me much good to get away for a few days.