14 July

GRATITUDES:
1. Being home from the hospital
2. Having access to decent coffee (yes, I’m a shameless addict)
3. Being able to grab a snack whenever the heck I feel like it
4. Being free from the “ball and chain”

Geez, I’m way behind in my blog posts! I pretty much hit the ground running as soon as I got home and literally forgot about the blog until last night, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t posted anything since Monday. Whoops. Long story short: I’m ferrying the bobbleheads back and forth to their drivers training class every morning, I’m getting used to the portable pump that I brought home from the hospital, I’m dealing with a home health nurse who, though very nice, is somewhat of a rookie, I’m juggling appointments with my oncologists and Basil’s new therapist, and somewhere in there I’m trying to relax and just breathe. Yeah, right!

So, about that drivers training class…

Yesterday the kids had appointments at the Department of Public Safety office in town. These appointments had been set up by one of the driving school’s employees. After scraping together what I thought was all the paperwork I needed (it amounted to a small stack per kid), we waited nearly two hours until our number was finally called. Did I mention that we had appointments? Ummm, yeah… We were finally called up to a window only to find out that we were missing a certificate from the driving school showing completion of the first six hours of classroom training, which was due to be handed out TODAY. The driving school employee had made the appointments too soon which meant that we had wasted a good amount of our day. Thankfully the DPS clerk was VERY nice and, after laughing ruefully over the mix-up, talked me down off the ledge and made new appointments for us. Yes, we have to go back, but at least now we know that we’ll have ALL the documents we’ll need! Sheesh.😑

Right now I’m sitting in the waiting room of my bone marrow transplant specialist, Dr. Bachiere. I’m assuming that I’ll find out whether or not I’m a good candidate for a transplant because I haven’t yet found out the results of all those tests that were run over a month ago. I’m a bit apprehensive. Just breathe, Robin…🙏🏻

Right. I have news. My test results were all great and I’m healthy as a horse (other than that little issue called LEUKEMIA, of course).😄 Three possible donors have been found – two in this country and one in Germany, all young, all healthy. I’m going to be scheduled for another bone marrow biopsy and an intrathecal and then the tissue sample will go through an MRD (Minimal Residual Disease) test. If that test comes up negative, that will mean that my system is squeaky clean and ready for the transplant. If I’m still positive for residual disease I’ll go through another four weeks of Blincyto. If, after that second round, I still test positive, then the transplant is off the table and we move on to CAR-T cell therapy, which is still a new form of treatment and hasn’t been fine-tuned yet. Personally, I’m hoping for the transplant. The odds for long-term survival are about twice what they are for CAR-T, even though the latter shows much promise and may become the go-to for leukemia treatment. That’s still years away though, and I don’t have time to wait.

So… if all the dominos fall just exactly right and the planets align (again), I’ll be going through the transplant in about a month, maybe two. The actual transplant treatment sounds about like an ordinary chemo cycle and one of Dr. Bachiere’s nurses told me today that it’s probably less taxing on the body, providing I’m in relatively good health. I guess I’ll be spending the next month or so focusing on shoring up my body, eating well and often, and exercising as much as I can, preparing for the next big leap.

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