Monday, August 23, 2010

Updates with a Monkey/Batman sort of closure

It has been a long time to wait for an update after all that but what can I say? It has been so incredibly busy and overwhelming in our lives. I don’t think things are going to slow down for quite awhile.

We have been to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for a second opinion. They have determined that the best course of action is to do two infusions of chemotherapy called I.C.E. followed by a stem cell transplant. My local oncologist, Dr. Morris, agrees completely with this. I have also been very briefly in email contact with a doctor from M.D. Anderson and he too agreed that this is the typical course of action for my case.

(For more on I.C.E. check out:

To make this (hopefully just for now) short and sweet, after much thought, confusion, tears and terror, we have made the decision to have the first two chemotherapy infusions done in the local hospital (NCH Downtown). They do this as an inpatient only and I will be in the hospital for three days. I will have three weeks in between each of these treatments. Following that, they scan me. If the scan is “clean” then they send me to Moffitt to do the stem cell transplant. If they are not “clean”, then I do more chemo till they are.

The stem cell transplant will be three weeks hospital stay followed by two weeks where I will have to stay near the hospital in one of their apartments. These time frames are all estimates. What matters is where my platelet counts are and those will determine when I get out of the hospital and then when I get out of Tampa and back home.(More on stem cell transplants later... or you can google away!)

So… I start TOMORROW!!! Tomorrow at some point in the day I will be checking into NCH and I will get my first I.C.E. treatment. I will be there for three days because it takes that long for the infusion. Some of the drugs are only going in me for a few hours at a time while others are going in 24 hours.

I can’t even yet get into how I feel about all this except that I am scared out of my mind. And angry. Last time I went through this I was scared of course… but not this much. And I wasn’t angry. The intense anger is a bit new. We will have to deal with that I guess.

I am hoping that since I will be trapped in a hospital for the next three days, I will be able to blog about the experience. Then again, I have no clue how this will go or how I will feel.

To end this on a positive note, my beautiful and wonderful brother, Ben just got married this last weekend to a stunning bride, Rachael. We got to spend a beautiful week in New Hampshire and experience a weekend and ceremony filled with beauty, love, laughter and support. Hopefully more to come once I have a chance to go through some pictures. Right now they are in their new car with their bicycles attached on their way to Canada for a love inspired adventure. I love and miss them so much! (P.S. Paul and I went to Canada too for our honeymoon!!!)
On another totally random note (just to throw it in there!) Mimi took Zane and I to a Curious George Live show back in July! Zane sat glued to it (just like this picture) and YES he did eat an ENTIRE bag of cotton candy all by himself. And I let him. And I thought it was great. (Mimi thought I was crazy!!!) Thank you Mimi for a wonderful evening full of monkeys and blue-dyed poofy sugar!!!!
Two VERY big Batman fans... Zane and his Papa.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Danielle,
    Just wanted to say hi, and that I am so inspired by and grateful for your willingness to share your journey. I am so, so sorry that you are having to go through this again. I knew you and Paul back in Tampa, when I lived with Beth Ellen, during what seems like a lifetime ago...I was so, so thrilled for all of you when I heard about your healing process the first time. I read some of your blog posts back then, and loved seeing the beautiful life that you and Paul have created.

    Loved the dance party video. At our house, we've found the dance party to be the quickest path to a reconnection with joy. I'll be thinking about your strength and love...and wishing you more.

    -Laura McGreevy