Friday, August 21, 2009

It has been a really full day so far. We went to the Apheresis clinic this morning between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (they let Tanner sleep in a little later today) and they did the final stem cell collection. This collection went a lot more smoothly today with the machine only alarming once. I told the nurse the machine yesterday morning must have been defective somehow and she said that it was possible but that she doubted that the machine had a problem and that Tanner's lines were probably just "flowing" better today than they did yesterday since they had already been used once.

I haven't heard from them yet regarding how many stem cells were collected today, but since they got 23.2 million yesterday, I'm sure they will have plenty to freeze. Tanner was talking to the other patients in the waiting room today and most of them were telling him they couldn't believe that he was able to collect so many cells in one sitting - and several of them told him that it took them up to seven days to collect their 20 million cells.

We met Dr. Barlogie's wife Cathy and a lady by the name of Nadege (a swiss-italian I think she said) after Tanner's stem cell collection this morning and talked to them for quite a while. They were both very nice. I thought Cathy's accent sounded familiar, and come to find out she is from Dallas. She sounded like me!!

Tanner asked her how she met "Bart" and she told him "Now, isn't that a story". Dr. Barlogie and she both use to work at M.D. Anderson in Houston and she said the first time they met they had an argument. LOL!!

You would understand the humor in that statement if you actually met Dr. Barlogie. Most of the time he has his cell phone in one hand and the office phone in the other and is usually "arguing" with someone. The thing is, he's arguing about getting his patient's the best care possible. I feel completely confident in his care of Tanner and I don't care who he has to "argue" with to get him the care that he needs.

They took the Quentin Line out of Tanner's neck this afternoon and put back in the Triple Lumen Lines. This is a good thing because the Quentin Line was a lot larger and bulkier. The Triple Lument Line is easier to sleep with and rests under Tanner's shirt where it can't be seen.

Right now he's in the back having a PET scan and this should take a couple of hours. He hasn't been able to eat anything all day so we had to hit the vending machines on the way in so that he could put some snacks in his backpack so that they will be there when he gets through. I told him we could eat whatever he likes when he gets out, but he said he would need something immediately!

The PA told us that Tanner shouldn't have to come every day over the weekend for lab work since his collections are all through and his labs look so good. Once she said that, we were hoping that we might be able to go home for the weekend but Dr. Barlogie said no, that he will need Tanner to have labwork all weekend as usual because he wants to go ahead and do the stem cell transplant next week.

We have to go for another bone marrow aspiration Monday morning (Tanner wasn't thrilled about that because the RN who performed that last one told him he probably wouldn't have to have another one for months) and then he goes to see Dr. Barlogie on Tuesday. I'm sure at that time, they will be able to give us more details on what the treatment will be.

Deena, the PA, told us usually the next phase would be more chemotherapy, which at this point would be melphalan - the drug that made Tanner so sick last time - followed by the stem cell transplant.

Tanner and the girls from Benton won't be able to go to the movies tonight since one of them has to work but they are planning on going tomorrow. That will probably be a good thing since he most likely won't be able to do anything for a while after they do the chemo and stem cell transplant next week.

I hope he goes and they have a great time!


  1. Tannerboy: I can see you getting well every day. I know all of this has been a really hard time for you, but I can also see the adventure in your eyes. You are learning so many things that most people will never experience. I sure do miss you and your mom. And YES, I agree we need to do more family things; I have really missed that. Remember when Friday evening were devoted to all of us getting together? Back when I used to cook.....ha ha Well I haven't forgotten how to do that and we will do it often when you get back home. You are my hero. And I ask God to bless you every day. Give your mom a big hug every day for all that she has done for you. We love you, Granny and Pop

  2. I can't believe you have gone though all that you have and can still smile. You are truly a warrior!We miss you guys and can't wait to see you both. Keep being strong..I believe you are kicking so cancer butt.Angie are doing an awasome job. I hope I would be has strong as you if ever needed.