Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Great news today! Dr. Barlogie says that Tanner's bone marrow biopsy came back normal and that there are no longer any cancer cells evident in the marrow!! He also said the other tests indicated that the lesions are greatly reduced!! There are just no words adequate to express this mom's feelings right now - and I know that the rest of the family is so excited by this news. Trevor called when we got back to the apartment and we were able to tell him and he was so relieved and excited. I know that he worries terribly about his brother while we are so far away.
We are being moved to "7C" over at the hospital and will have to be there a little before 8:00 a.m. in the morning to begin the next round of chemotherapy. He will undergo chemo until next Monday. Tuesday he will have a day of rest and then next Wednesday they will do the stem cell transplant and after that, his counts will drop really low and he won't have any immunities again for a while. They will closely monitor him until his numbers all come back up (probably all together it will take about a month) and after that he should be able to go back home to Texas for a while.
Tanner told Dr. Barlogie he would ask what comes next after this but he knew that it would depend on how he does and how he responds to the treatment. Dr. Barlogie told him yes, it would be a "saga'.
Depending on how things go, they say that he might only have to undergo one stem cell transplant. It will just depend on how everything turns out after this round of chemo and transplant.
Dr. Barlogie is such a caring physician. I know that he is very busy and puts in some extremely long days, but you can tell that he genuinely cares about his patients. He hugged me and Tanner both as he was leaving the exam room today.
I talked to two of the ladies from his office about the insurance and how they are still denying much of the procedures as "experimental". Sandra, the insurance lady at the doctor's office, said that now that Dr. Barlogie has decided to go with the "BEAM" transplant and not the "M-VDP Pace" transplant (which Tanner's insurance denied) they might reconsider and will cover the procedure. She said that no matter what we will continue to pursue coverage and submit appeals. In the meantime, they had me sign another form taking financial responsibility. LOL. I told her it didn't matter, I would sign whatever they needed me to sign. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we are so fortunate to be here at this facility so that Tanner can get the care that he needs.
One of the other ladies at the doctor's office who came in to talk to me told me not to stress too much over the insurance. She said they go through things like this all the time and that Dr. Barlogie always gives the patient the treatment they need, regardless of coverage.
We got to the infusion clinic for Tanner's lab work at 8:30 a.m. and then went and had breakfast at one of the hospital cafe's with Loren and John, a very nice couple from Virginia, who are here while he undergos treatment for Myeloma. We sat and talked for quite a while and then went to see Dr. Balogie at noon. We ended up being at the doctor's office HOURS and didn't get back to the apartment until 7:00 p.m.
We saw the doctor right away but then you have to wait for the RN to come in to talk to you and that took quite a while. When she finally came in at about 3:00 p.m., Tanner told her he was so hungry that his head was hurting. She told me we could go back over to the hospital and have a sandwich and pick up a presciption and then come back to the office. It ended up being an all day appointment. But you know what, after the news we got, it doesn't even matter. It was a great day!
When we got back to the doctor's office to talk to the nurse, Marti, she went over all the new instructions and medications with me and then she handed me a check for $1000 made payable to "Robert T Walker". I asked her what that was for and she said it was from one of the other patients. I asked her who and she said it was just another patient who met us while Tanner was undergoing all of his tests and that he just touched their hearts and they asked her to give us the money.
Marti and I both just sat there in that room and cried when she handed me the check. I mean, my goodness, this is $1000 from someone that Tanner met in while in a waiting room since we got here to Arkansas and we aren't even sure who it is. We just know that the check says they are from Hot Springs. I don't begin to have the talent to describe how we felt - how we feel.
The kindness and generosity that we have experienced from everyone since Tanner found out he has cancer has been truly overwhelming. Our lives will be forever changed.
Can you imagine? Truly, can you imagine?