Getting Down To Business: Chemo And Stem Cells

Wednesday: We walked into Dr. W’s office expecting to get the details on Bob’s treatment, which we got. And then Bob got hooked up to start his chemo right then and there. Seems this time around, chemo is going to be a 3-day process instead of that cushy 1-day deal he had last time. Plus, he gets to bring home a an IV pack for a sleepover on that first night, along with a pump that he carries around in a fetching black man satchel. You know you’re jealous.

The chemo regimen is called R-DHAP. The “P” is for platinum. I’m pretty sure this means he’ll be able to shit me out an anniversary band. He says he’ll try.

The Nitty Gritty: Chemo will be a 3-day regimen administered every 3-4 weeks for 2-3 cycles. If the cancer is responsive to the chemo, the next step will be an autologous stem cell transplant done at Stanford’s Cancer Center. We’ll be meeting with them for a consult in the coming weeks.

The Numbers: Dr. W does not sugar-coat things, but he has a great sense of humor. It’s a bedside manner that fits us well. He told us that the chance of dying from the stem cell transplant is around 3%, but “what are you going to do, not do it?” Touché. Likewise, the Cure Rate for Bob after the transplant is in the range of 25-50%. But, the cure rate of doing nothing is 0%. Kind of a no brainer which option you’re going to choose. You don’t get to choose whether or not you get the cancer, just whether or not to treat it and the method.

Other than that pesky cancer crap, Bob is in great health: he’s young, he has strong lungs, and a strong heart. Choosing not to have radiation was a good call. It wouldn’t have stopped the return of his cancer, and it saved the wear and tear on his heart and lungs. Plus, he’s cute. That has to help.

First two days of this round are done. One more to go. Time to go snuggle with my man.