Today we got some new information from Mark's team of doctors. The somewhat discouraging news is that Dr. Maziarz (the "bone marrow transplant" or BMT guy) wants to collect more bone marrow stem cells from Mark before the transplant. During the 4 days that Mark was connected to the collection machine in early January (3 hours each session), 1.95 million stem cells were collected and Dr. M likes to have closer to 2.5 million stem cells. We had been under the impression that Dr. M thought the 1.95 number was "close enough", but apparently not... Mark's typically upbeat response was "we might as well top up the supply while we can."
Mark's last radiation treatment will be Feb. 23, and the protocol is to wait a couple weeks for recovery before the collection. So, Mark will have 5 daily shots of Neupogen starting March 12, and report for the collection process on March 16 and perhaps again on March 17.
He will be admitted to OHSU at the end of March (that's Oregon Health & Science University) , and remain in the hospital 3 - 4 weeks for the actual bone marrow tranplant. Before that, Mark will have a Muga (heart) scan, Pulmonary function test, PET scan and another bone marrow sample (that's the painful one). Those remain to be scheduled. Mark and I will attend a 2-hour class about the BMT at OHSU for patients and caregivers on March 3.
The barrage of procedures continues. But so does our project to visit a new coffeeshop almost every day after radiation! See Mark's summary below.