This word I like... We architect our life...
A song, a sigh... developing words that linger...
Through fields of green, through open eyes... It's for us to see.
Interanimate: To animate or inspire mutually

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tests and Conditioning

I had 5 tests today to prep for my sct. A purpose of these test is to set baselines for organ functioning that they can compare to future tests. The echo cardiogram was the most interesting. I laid on my side and watched a video of my heart doing its thing. Each of the 2 main valves were busy flopping around without a care in the world. This was happening inside of me? The tech got good readings so the test did not take long. The Pulmonary test was kinda hard. This one is where you are instructed to breath into a tube and exhale according to very specific instructions. I had to repeat this several times cuz I didnt exhale or inhale fast or slow enough. Afterwards I felt quite tired. Now I know what kids mean when they say 'that sucks' or 'that blows'. I found out my lung capacity was 5 liters. Good thing to know, eh? The last test was a blood draw. I think a record was set for number of vials filled. But I'm quite used to it. In 2 days I'll get another draw for the transfusion this Friday. Todays vials are earmarked for a different purpose. All in all, outside of my bone marrow, the rest of my organs are functioning very well. This is one giant point in my favor going into the sct next month. With the test results provided today, the NMDP ( will be contacting the donor(s) to line up the donor's schedule. My schedule will be subject to the donor's schedule. I should get a date this week or next.
Conditioning Decision
Last Thurs at an appt my doc said that they (the 3 doctors on the transplant team), had decided against a total body irradiation conditioning protocol for me. Apparently, my age is just over making TBI the best conditioning choice. Instead, I will get the full chemo conditioning. Whatever. At this point I'm in the hands of the good doc. I'm beginning to think that the less I try to understand, the better. Conditioning is what they do to you starting 1 week before the actual injection of donor stem cells. The purpose is to make you very sick so you never want to come back to a hospital. A secondary purpose is to eliminate your current stem cells and immune system so that the donated cells will have a place to set up shop. Kinda makes sense. Conditioning is really the part of the sct I'd really like to skip. But then the rest of the procedure would not work. So, gotta do it.


Laura B. said...

I am just reading your blog for the first time. I appreciate your detail in understanding what you have gone through and what you will be going through. It will allow me to pray most specifically for you and your treatment. I hope you know that you are surrounded with love and concern and positive thoughts.
Laura B.

Mare said...

Jim, Cath, Dylan & Maddie,

To say I think about all of you often is quite an understatement. There are so many miles between us, but the love I have for all of you and the prayers I send your way travel but a short distance. Take comfort in knowing there are SO many people like me - sending positive thoughts and encouragement to the Anderson family.

Keep the faith - remember to take time to laugh and find time, although it might be difficult, to smile now and then.

Until next time...

Love from Waterloo, WI.


Larry said...

This is a great tool to update those of us who feel so helpless in understanding your illness. Only you can go through this physically but now the rest of us
can share your emotional struggles. Family is so important during the good and bad times. We are with you!
Larry and Katy