Yesterday morning Mark and I met with Dr. Maziarz, and Mark's brother Eric joined us. We reviewed the statistics for people who have a CNS (central nervous system) relapse of lymphoma as Mark has. Those who undergo a stem cell transplant basically have three times the survival rate of those who don't. It seems clear that going forward with the stem cell transplant is the best chance for long term remission, and that Mark is a prime candidate (being "young and healthy" and all) to get through the process with minimal collateral damage.
So, Mark checks into the hospital Tuesday morning, April 6, where he gets a PICC line inserted and gets the first round of chemo that evening. The PICC line is a "peripherally inserted central catheter" which gives IV access for a long period of time. Mark had one two years ago for about 6 months, and it didn't give him any trouble. All drugs and fluids can be fed through the PICC line, which means he avoids multiple IV pokes. The PICC is our friend.
Kelly is here on spring break this week with two friends from college and it's great to have them around! Kelly and Claire may each pay a weekend visit to PDX from their colleges in the next couple weeks to support Dad in the hospital, where he expects to be in residence for 3 - 4 weeks.
Your comments posted here are always very supportive and cheering; thank you. Keep 'em coming!
Love -- Julie