Santi’s Health Status

Further updates will be on

4. last weekend of April
Feeling pretty good, all things considered, through 2nd chemo cycle at Mayo Clinic. Should go home Monday midday. Jo Marie and I had a long Friday with scan and lots of meetings, including prep for the stem cell “transplant/rescue.” We learned a lot about the latter, and have some clarification about the form of high grade b-cell lymphoma that occurred. It’s a little different than the tumor 13 years ago, and even more falls in-between the familiar forms of HGBCL. There are perhaps 50 documented cases of it.
A third chemo cycle will start May 17. Ideally, the stem cell transplant/rescue process will start 4 weeks after that. We now, thanks to Dr Villasboas, have a pretty good idea of how that will play out. Expected to take 6 weeks, but could be longer or a little less. We are making the necessary logistical arrangements with family and friends. Preparing physically, emotionally, and Dhammically.

3. third weekend of April
Blood tests show that neutrophils and WBCs are coming back nicely, neutropenia is waning, and the immune system is functioning, though not fully up to speed. So I’ll have a few days of few meds, few side effects, low risk of infection, and much gratitude for a strong body that’s gotten through the first chemo cycle pretty well. Then, on Friday, we start the second cycle.
My primary duties will remain: eating as much and as well as I can, hydrating well, managing the meds, walking a lot, correspondence, and Dhamma practice.
Many thanks to all the notes of condolence and warm well-wishing. Thanks, too, to everyone who contributed to the Guest House construction; it’s a wonderful place to recuperate and enjoy the valley views of springtime.

2. mid-April
A fever occurred when neutropenia arrived suddenly. I was hospitalized locally as a precaution to stabilize vitals and check for infections. Neutropenia is expected with this kind of intense chemo; neutrophils bottomed out at zero and started returning a day later. During the worst of neutropenia, there is extreme risk of infection, with sepsis a particular concern. Fortunately, the fever passed quickly and no infection has been found. Jo Marie brought me home on 4/17 after a few nights in La Crosse.

1. early April
I returned to the care of our trusted hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. This is made possible by Medicare. An intense in-patient chemotherapy regimen (R-ICE) was begun the first weekend of April and went smoothly. Returned home to Kevala Retreat after 4 days in Rochester. Side effects have been manageable and I am in good spirits.

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