Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I made it back to Little Rock today and met Tanner, his dad, and Janet at Dr. Barlogi'e's office. He opened Tanner's file and discovered that a follow up PET Scan and MRI had not been done and was fairly upset. I think this harkens back to my feelings that his office has some issues with communication...
I mean I have all the confidence in the world in the treatment they are giving Tanner, and I am so very thankful we have found this clinic, but if I had one complaint, it would be with their communication skills.
At this point they can't give us any specifics on how his treatment is going to proceed because they are going to have to compare the results from a new PET Scan and MRI to the ones done before Tanner started chemotherapy to see how the lesions have responded to the initial therapy. These new tests will most likely be performed tomorrow.
Usually, from what I've gathered from the other patients and nurses, most patients have to go through this whole process at least twice. Dr. Barlogie's nurse said that each round of treatment usually runs six to eight weeks and he might be able to go home for a little break in between the first and second round of treatment.
She also told us that his lab work will indicate when Tanner is ready to go from the growth factor shots to the extractions and that the nurses at the Infusion Clinic will be able to tell us when he is ready to move to the second phase.
From what we were told today, the process consists of chemotherapy, growth factor shots, extractions, and then chemotherapy again. Then they will run some more tests and compare the results once again to determine if he's ready to move on to reinserting the stem cells or if he needs to go through the whole process again.
After today, we won't see the doctor again until Tanner finishes the growth factor shots and the extractions.
When the nurses at the Infusion Center tell us that he is ready to move on to the extraction phase, they will take the small lines out of the Triple Lumen Line and will put in some bigger tubes. Then they will take the blood from his body and run it through a machine that will remove the stem cells and will put everything else back in his body. She said this part of the process should take a few days and that he shouldn't feel much discomfort.
Luckily, Tanner is feeling pretty strong and I am hopeful that he will continue doing well - at least until the next phase of chemotherapy starts again. At least the next time he has to go through chemo, he will know what to expect.
I also want to take this moment to acknowledge everyone that has contributed to Tanner's Medical Fund. Many friends, family, and PIE agents have made contributions to the fund and have made it possible for us to continue to live in Little Rock while Tanner goes through these needed treatments. You have all taken a load of stress from our shoulders and have allowed us to concentrate solely on Tanner.
There are just no words adequate to express our feelings for your generosity, love and support...
Thank you, thank you, thank you -- from the bottom of our hearts...