Monday, November 3, 2008

First Update From Dr. Einhorn and Today's Stem Cell Re-Entry

Hey, Sean here. I've been checked in to the hospital up here for coming on a week now. It's been, okay. I'm on what's called a Neutropenic diet. It basically means that I can't have any food from outside the hospital that is not pasteurized and packaged. The food in the hospital leaves a lot to be desired. I am still loving the facilities though and how well we are taken care of. I should take pictures of the room so you can all see as it is a lot like something you would get at a good hotel.

Enough about that, here is what is going on. Dr. Einhorn came in early this morning to give me the rundown on my body's response to the treatments. When I got here with the 1-1.5 cm spots in my liver my AFP blood markers were elevated to 270. The first 5 day course of chemotherapy I got was not the high does stem cell therapy but readings show that it knocked the AFP levels down to 55. In a normal person 15-25 is an acceptable AFP level that says that you have no tumors in your body secreting the chemical. After the 3 day high dose chemotherapy I got Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday the marker has been knocked down to 27. That will likely continue to drop over the next couple days as the chemo beats on what is left in there.

Dr. Einhorn says that my response is the best response they can hope for and that everything looks great. We will still be going forward with the 2nd stem cell/high dose regimen just to really blast it all out of me for good.

The actual process of putting the stem cells back into me was interesting. It makes your chest tighten and breathing gets harder. It's cold going in too as they freeze the cells at some insanely low temperature to keep them viable. Now that they are back in me they will find their way back into my bone marrow. From there they will do their thing and specialize to where they are needed in my body. What stems cells can do is remarkable.

Well, I feel somewhat okay. I still have some nausea and just don't feel very good from the chemotherapy in general. I want to get out of this hospital ASAP and so we are just waiting on my blood counts to come back up to a safe level. Thank you to everyone for everything that you have done. Karen and I couldn't be more blessed and I couldn't be more blessed to have her. My parents are out here right now and that has been fun. We are playing a lot of games and watching a lot of movies and such. We can't wait to come home and see everyone soon.

Love, Sean

PS: Vote today everybody

9 comments:

Elaine said...

Hang in there buddy. Lowell's brother, Todd, is having the same treatment here and it started the same day. Weird.
Love you!

Sam Beall & family said...

Hey Sean, Karen, & all family. Just wanted to confirm to you that you are a constant source of joy and concern. I admire you so much. I want to call you guys "the Firewalkers." Your courage and willingness to walk through your journey inspire me, and I'm sure many others! Daniel is constant in his concern and prayers for you. I'm just so happy to be able to walk with you in spirit. Thank you for your example!! Continue to walk... You are blessed in the midst of the storm, and as a result of your attitude, are blessing those you let live this with you! Finally, I want to thank you for making time to keep us so wonderfully informed. God bless you always, love Sam

Sam Beall & family said...

P.S. Ivoted yesterday, and took Maurice and Anne(mom) today

Miss Megan said...

Thanks for another update Sean! It's great to hear from you, and it sounds like you are in good spirits. Most of this medical stuff is over my head, but I try to follow along, and I'm pleased you are making progress. Hang in there!

Love,

Megan
P.S. I voted!!!

Anonymous said...

Sean,

How are you doing? Sounds like things are going well (even if your fantasy team isn't) Anyway, I have something I would like to send you and was wondering what the address was for you there in Indy. Let me know.

Pete

Anonymous said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers always. Remarkable is all I can say about your stem cell process- Praise the Lord!!! You both are truly an example to us praying the Lord will continue to give you both the perfect measure of strengh.
God Bless You Chuck and Patti

Anonymous said...

I hope that you and the family has a great Thanksgiving and a Christmas next month. It's soon here.

djrahi said...

This is just one of many great steps forward you're going to take, Sean. The otl is ready to punch out each cancer cell if we have to.

I'll pray to all the gods to make sure you win this fight asap.

P.S. Eat a ton on turkey day!

-Jonathan

Terraphon said...

Heya Sean...Hope this finds you well.

I've been sitting here, on my very first ALONE Thanksgiving, thinking about a lot of things. I've been thinking about what I have to be thankful for and started thinking "why should I have to think of anything...Why can't I be happy to be alive and healthy?" (I've decided to leave it at having an ass to sit on and hands to scratch it with). This brought me to thinking of you and your fight.

I'm glad you're doing well and will continue to think positive thoughts for you.

Keep fighting the fight, brother. Have a very happy Thanksgiving and safe, happy and healthy holidays.

And keep us updated :)

~R