I'm taking over this blog entry to share the latest updates from our escapades in Seattle so far. Believe it or not, we're starting our fifth week here and I wish I could say the time has flown.
Let me bring you up to speed. We spent our first few days getting acquainted with the transplant team, the doctors, nurses, social workers, pulmonologists, cardiologists, and many patients and caregivers living in the SCCA house. Our world was shattered when, on our 6th day here, we were interrupted in radiology for an unscheduled meeting with our doctor on the transplant team. He shared with us that the routine biopsy they performed 3 days earlier showed 17% leukemia cells and that his cancer had, once again, relapsed. This made Dan ineligible for his transplant and is postponed until the leukemia is in remission.
The last 4 weeks have been a whirlwind. We were shuffled to general oncology with a new team and a new plan. Dan was put on a chemo regimen immediately that has been consuming much of our time. We've been enjoying ourselves as much as we can, catching a mariners game, taking walks, playing games, eating at interesting and fun restaurants, watching 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights, and becoming coffee connoisseurs at the never-lacking coffee shops around here (it really is true). We moved into the long-term housing and have settled into our 1-bedroom apartment. Since chemo has begun to effect Dan, we've been laying low at home cherishing our time together and I've been stepping up to my caregiver duties. Through trial and error and a few sleepless nights, we've mastered a successful combination of home remedies and medicine that settle his restless legs, relieve his aching bones/joints, and soothe his nausea. I've also become an expert smoothie-maker so Dan gets all the nutrition he needs and doesn't lose weight. Dan has been through this so many times and he's pretty good at just dealing with feeling "chemo-y" as he says, and I admire him for that.
Today we got some more bad news. The biopsy from Friday showed that the leukemia is resisting chemo. Unfortunately, he has developed some immunities to therapy because he has had them before, so we are consulting with doctors tomorrow about how to proceed. SCCA has the top transplant center, which is why we came here 4 weeks ago. Since the relapse and Dan is being treated for leukemia again, we are looking into a center in Houston (MD Anderson) or possibly coming home to participate in a clinical trial or a new cocktail of drugs he hasn't had. We are far from home and rely so much on our family and friends for strength, so coming home sounds amazing to us right now. We'd love to find a trial somewhere close to home or have treatment at Georgetown to get Dan ready for the transplant. But, we are prepared to go anywhere.
We don't know what lies ahead and we are devastated by this news. We're exhausted from this lifestyle of waiting, hoping, and praying, but we know that we have to muster up the strength to keep on keeping on because the road ahead is long. I love Dan with everything, and through sickness and in health I will love him and cherish him. Yes, this is not the 2 years I had expected when I married him, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. We have spent virtually every second together since we got here, and we've fallen more in love every day. He's the most amazing man I've ever known, and I am so blessed to be his wife.
Thanks for your continued positive words of encouragement, faith, hope, and love. As Dan has said so many times on here, we are leaning on all of you to help us stay strong.
ALL will (still) be well,