Thursday, March 16, 2006

March 16, 2006

Yesterday was Erica's first visit back to the hospital since her release last Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, it was the one day that she woke up tired and remained exhausted for most of the day which made this outting a bit difficult. Coupled with the tiredness, she has been experiencing nausea for the last three days. Thankfully, Marie was here to help with everything from navigating me through the confusing streets of Boston, builing IKEA furniture, to holding Erica's hand and offering kind words.
While at the hospital, we received good news and bad news. The good news first: her body is in complete remission with zero leukemic cells still in her bone marrow! Her cell counts are that of a normal person and they are pleased with the retreating fungal infection. However, there always seems to be something negative to report, the bad news: we need to start thinking about if Erica should have a bone marrow transplant surgery. The pros of this are naturally that the new bone marrow would ideally produce all healthy white blood cells and the leukemia won't return---which could also happen without the transplant surgery, but a greater percentage with the surgery. There are four potential side effects that could happen if we go through with the transplant. (1) organ damage or failure; (2) infection; (3) Graft v. Host Disease (if the host, aka Erica, rejects the donor causing problems with her skin, GI tract, etc.); and (4) fatality.
This surgery would be a loooooong four week process with chemotherapy, radiation, and then the transplant which is administered similiar to a blood transfusion. Although the doctors' initial response to the ALL was to go ahead with the transplant surgery, there are now reservations because of her initial high white blood cell count but her fantastic response to the chemo may factor in too.... basically, we were told not to worry too much about this for another 8-12 weeks and they will keep us up to date on everything we need to know. During that time the doctors will be explore the three potential semi-matching donors from the registry and focusing on clearing up her fungal infection.
This sentence is just to end on a note other than fungal infection... my dog doing well! :)

4 comments:

christine said...

hi girls,
wonderful to hear of erica's remission news! let's just stop right here and rejoice for a little longer before we have to deal with possible BMT... so YIPPEE HURRAY!!! will continue to tell everyone to register for the NMDP. BIG hugs and kisses!
your pseudo-sis,
christine

emily l. said...

Hey erica,

dunno if you remember me, it's emily lo from oxy. i hung out with erika douglass and you guys for a little bit during my stint at oxy.

NE way, i was reading the last blog, and just wanted to let you know that i am a registered bone marrow donor. if i am a match to erica and u guys do decide to go ahead with the transplant, i would be more than happy to help out.

keep smiling, you are doing beautifully!!

hugs,
emily

Jay Taylor said...

Dear Erica,

Hello! I'm so glad to read that things are going well! Our thoughts are with you at Fletcher. I was at a fundraising event last night for an organization I thought you'd be interested in. It's called the SAMFund: Suviving And Moving Forward. It's a grant foundation devoted to young adult cancer survivors. One of my dearest friends, Samantha, founded it after her bought with Ewings Sarcoma and a later struggle with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a pre-leukemic condition caused by the chemo for the Ewings.She was in her early-20s as well. She found it difficult, being at an age where she was difficult to categorize as a patient -- not quite young enough for peds, not quite old enough to feel comfortable in an adult ward. She also found it difficult to "get on with her life" when her treatment had finished -- the SAMFund is very much an outgrowth of these and other struggles. Sam lives in Boston and, when I told her about you, she wanted me to pass along her contact information. I know that you are blessed with the support of your friends and family, but she is eager to support you, too. So if you have an interest, she would love to speak with you.

She can be reached at: sam@thesamfund.org.

I hope this finds you well!

Best,

Jason Taylor

Ryan7159 said...

Hello Erica..You may not remember me but I was Erin's friend at UC Davis and I first met you when you came up that night we all went to that gangster pary...(remember yet?, I may also go by an inappropriate nickname lol!) And no I'm not the big samoan but the filipino friend :) ANyways, Erin called me yesterday and told me about whats going on with you, I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I just want you to know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of Erins' Sacramento family and friends. Stay strong and know that there are even more people than you might even know, or remember rather (You might have been drunk when you visited Davis :-) that wish you well and hope that you get better and feel better soon!!!

ps: you still are "that hot friend that erin brought up to Davis"