We Are Thankful for …. Stem Cells, Clinical Trials and MD Anderson

I’m back in Texas and Dad is headed into the hospital tomorrow for the start of his stem cell transplant.

Dad is in a clinical trial with MD Anderson and the name of the clinical trial he is in is: “High-Dose Gemcitabine, Busulfan and Melphalan With Hematopoietic-Cell Support for Patients With Poor-Risk Myeloma.”

Essentially the “poor risk” part means “patients with myeloma treated with first-line therapy including lenalidomide, bortezomib or thalidomide, and one or more of the following: 2.1) M paraprotein greater than 1 g/dL at HDC. 2.2) Less than partial response to first-line therapy. 2.3) Relapse after first-line therapy. 2.4) Relapse after a prior autologous stem-cell transplant” which Dad falls into due to the bortezomib (Velcade) he first took not working.

Dad will be in the hospital about 11 days undergoing chemo before they insert his stem cells. That will be on December 6th. The doctors call this his “new birthday” because the cells will have no memories. Bye Bye are all the immunizations and antibodies for diseases he has already had.

Depending on his reaction to the new cells, he will need to remain in the hospital for a week or two and then they need to stay nearby to the hospital for another two weeks. It’s looking like Christmas at the Medical Center Marriott lol.

Visitors are allowed, but they won’t be able to touch Dad due to his compromised immune system. And as mom keeps reminding me to add – Don’t come if you are sick!! :) We even had to quarantine Grandpa over at Aunt Debra’s with a cold for Thanksgiving lol. Mom says that the best length of time is about 20 – 30 minutes. Just enough time to get his spirits up, but not so long that he gets tired.

I’m sure I’ll know more as things progress – I’ll be here until the 1st and I return back somewhere around the time they move to the hotel.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers!