The Start of the Long Path

July 2, 2024 | Reading time: 2 minutes

The Facts

Today I have my final consult before being admitted to the hospital to “deplete” my lymph nodes. This sounds pretty scary, and in a lot of ways it is. What that basically means is that the majority of my White Blood Cells and producers will be stripped via chemo in preparation of their replacement next week.

Of course this means I’ll be more immuno-compromised that I’ve ever been. This is the biggest reason I’m being admitted, so the geniuses at MD Anderson can keep me as healthy and as safe as possible during this fragile time.

Since this is the first time at MD Anderson has treated Colon Cancer in this way. THeir Melanoma department has used this technique many times with amazing success, so the Colon Cancer department is deferring to their experience to handle my case.

The Procedure

All my tests yesterday went well. My last consult is with the Melanoma doctor because their department has used this to treat their type of cancer and the Colon Cancer folks are tapping into their experience. This afternoon I’ll be admitted to the hospital to have my “Lymph nodes diminished” which means they’re stripping my white blood cells in preparation for the new brew to be installed next week.

I’ve got more tumor samples being removed for more science experiments, and they’re going to hit the tumors with low-dose radiation just before and after the new immune system is installed to “soften them up” for the new white blood cells to attack.

My Feelings

I know this is going to be a challenge for all the Self: physically, mentally, and spiritually. You know it’ll be a challenge when your docs leaves with the parting words: “It’s going to be a little rough.”

Logically I’m complacent; I will endure. I always have, and I will continue to do so. However, like I’ve always accepted my “monkey/lizard brain” is like an easily frightened, panicking animal or child. I can hide and soothe that animal spirit relatively easily most of the time to put on a strong demeanor, but when I lay at night I’ll sometime get the shakes and have such a ball of anxiety in my chest that my Zolpidem doesn’t help me sleep.

My next post will be from an ICU bed.