Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 20, 2014

The endoscopy did reveal a low grade of Graft vs Host disease, but Casey is able to eat and has put on a few pounds and they have reduced his hospital visits to one time a week. So far, so good. He had a nice time with Eric and Erik, now Griff is with him. The dook vs UNC basketball game is rescheduled for tonight. I suggested Casey and Griff go watch if on a big screen, but Eric and Casey said Griff is not allowed out in public during a UNC basketball game, especially against dook. These boys do love their alma mater. Go Heels! I think having his buddies with him is making the time a lot less tedious.
We were hoping to do a little bit of touring on our drive home, but with his extended stay that is not going to happen. I did want to stop in New Orleans, but then found Mardi Gras would be going on during our original time frame, and that would be a really bad place for Casey to be. Maybe since Mardi Gras will be over, just a quick beignet will work. Houston has been nice and warm. The only time they get a cold snap is when I go out. Casey will have to return on a monthly basis for a few months. He will have to go periodically for the next 15 years. We do have a pretty good lay of the land at this point.
Good Luck to all LAC college, high school, and age group swimmers as you head into your championship meets.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 12, 2014

Part one and two of the mini transplant went off without a hitch. The only hitch has been the weather. Eric is not able to get here tonight due to the storm in Atlanta. My flight was cancelled to go home today too. Eric is now scheduled to arive tomorrow and I am booked on flight home on Friday. This actually works out well with his modified transplant schedule. He had to remain in the hospital until 3:00 which would mean I would have to leave for my flight and he would have to drive himself back to the apartment. The boost is done as an outpatient. It is called the Sleeping Beauty. The cells are somehow infused with cancer killing molecules to replace his defective chromosone which causes his blood cancer. It is injected into him where it lays dormant unless it is needed to go to work. If the cancer comes back, it should attack and kill the leukemia blasts. The test for graft vs host have not been competed, but his doctor does feel thsre is some present. The treatment for GVHD is steroids which will kill the Sleeping Beauty cells, but his doctor feels it is worth the risk to move ahead with the boost. His doctor told him he has to stay in Houston for 4 more weeks, which did not make Casey happy. He is so ready to get home to his dog, swimmers and normal life. The UNC vs dook game was also cancelled for tonight. It has not been the best day for Casey. I am anxious for Eric to get here as a nice and welcome diversion. You guys are the best! Also, thank you to Jen and Kathleen for letting Griff and Eric come out here to spend time with Casey.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 8, 2014

I'm here in Houston with Casey. The weather has been cold here too, but there is relief in sight. Predicting high 60s today and 70s tomorrow. We have a busy week. We spent most of the day at the hospital on Thursday for his normal treatment and check-up. Yesterday he had an endoscopy. He was not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight and they only did the procedure at 4:30pm. Monday he goes to the hospital for normal treatment and check-up. The mini transplant which was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, is now scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, which will give them time for the pathology report on the endoscopy. The glitch is that I am scheduled to go home on Wednesday afternoon and Eric is scheduled to arrive. The doctor is aware of the schedule conflict and is working with us to have Casey be finished early on Wednesday. I hope he is able to drive me to the airport. I can always call a cab, if needed. The most important thing is getting Eric here on time for the UNC vs dook basketball game on Wednesday night. Eric is a friend from UNC. Brings back fond memories of watching UNC basketball in 2005 on Rosemary Street with a house full of students. We watched UNC win the semi finals, followed by a trip to Franklin Street where everyone was celebrating and having a great time. 2 days later they went on to win the national championship, but I was home in PA and missed that celebration. I have so many great memories of Chapel Hill, there was never a dull moment.
I pulled the January page off of the calendar in Casey's apartment to find February is well marked with the Great Event of February 9th. Tomorrow is Stevie's birthday and she surely does not want it to go un-noticed. She left her mark! Sorry, I will not be home to celebrate with Stevie, but I didn't forget. I hope you have a wonderful day. I will make it up to you! I got a whole bunch of rubber gloves, masks and syringes for you.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2, 2014

It is official. The groundhog has predicted 6 more weeks of winter. I am looking forward to spring.
Casey's skin biopsy came back clear of graft vs host, so the dates for the mini transplant are February 10 & 11th. Stevie's birthday is February 9th, so it is fitting that he gets her cells on Monday the 10th. I will be in Houston with Casey at that time. Last week when my sister, Debbie was with Casey, they went over all of his instructions for when he gets home to Pennsylvania, along with a packet of information for Dr. Ehmann, his oncologist at Hershey. Good to have Aunt Debbie with Casey for that because she speaks nerd. All of those years spent in the microbiology lab have made her fluent. We are all getting prepared to bring Casey home. I took his dog to the vet and got her annual shots. They assured me they are not live vaccines, but I still feel the need to be extra cautious and have them done before he gets home. We do not have an exact date, but March 2nd is day 100, so we are planning on that week. We have Casey sitters all lined up to that date. Two of Casey's college friends and team mates are each taking a turn. Eric Mohr will be coming from Atlanta and Griff Helfrich will be coming from San Francisco. That will be a special treat for Casey, not only to have them there to chauffeur him around, but to get to spend time with them. Stevie's husband, Erik will also His friend Kyle Salyards is with him now. They usually get together for the Super Bowl, so tonight will somewhat be like a typical Super Bowl Sunday for Casey. It is so very nice of you all to do this for all of us. Casey has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.