pre-testing continues

    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2009 at 8:02 am

      (sophie again)

      It almost feels like we just got back from our 3rd day at work ๐Ÿ™‚

      Alice just kicked her feet up โ€“ we just have one more meeting tomorrow, with the neurologist, but all the pre-testing is done.

      We’ll need to wait for a week for all results to come through, and the next phase will be stem cell harvesting, beginning on September 21st.

      The morning started with a chest x-ray and a CT scan of sinuses. They added this CT scan after one patient died a few years ago, due to an undetected sinus infection that spread into his brain. Once the immune system is knocked out, the body has no defense against this kind of infection which might otherwise seem irrelevant. So it is critical in this initial phase that they detect any potential source of problem.

      For this reason, Alice had a dental appointment too โ€“ basically to detect any sign of infection. But luckily, our friend, and dentist Julia Hallisy had warned her of the importance of doing a full dental check-up before embarking on this procedure, and did so a month ago, leaving us with a copy of all the xrays for the dentist here, who just sent Alice on her way. It’s not something people necessarily think about, but when you’re bringing down your immune system to nothing, and rebuilding it over the following year, you really don’t want to have any dental issues.

      The 3rd appointment today was in the Blood Center where the stem cell harvesting will take place. It was to discuss Alice’s health, but also to explain the procedure to her. As everyone else we have met here, they are kind and efficient.

      They first checked Alice’s arms to see if the lines could be placed there – but this is actually very rare, as you would need to have several available big veins on each arm for this to happen โ€“ so they will either place the line in the neck (vascular catheter) or in the upper chest (tunnel catheter). Now this will all happen on October 1st โ€“ after the stimulation of stem cell release phase. Alice will then be hooked up to a machine which will essentially take blood out, keep the stem cells, and give her blood back. We actually were taken over to a patient who was hooked up to this machine โ€“ who explained it did not hurt at all. Alice will be hooked up to this machine for 3 to 6 hours. Basically the smaller your body is, the longer you need to stay hooked to it. In Alice’s case, they will want 2 to 5 million stem cells. So if she hasn’t reached that number at the end of the day, she’ll need to come back the next, but chances are one day will suffice. Also, they mentioned that if she has extra stem cells that weren’t used, those will be stored for another 5 years at the hospital.

      Good thing is she’ll be able to eat & drink, and most importantly use internet ๐Ÿ™‚

      Tomorrow we just have the meeting with the neurologist, so it’ll be a half-day of work..

    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      Alice and Sophie you are in our thoughts and prayers. Ryan and I look forwaRDto reading your updates.

    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      Alice and Sophie,

      I just want to thank you for posting all your updates.

      I look forward to hearing how everything goes.

      You are in my thoughts often.

      Take care of each other,

      Rhonda from Canada

    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks for the updates!

    • Anonymous
      September 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

      I’m crossing my fingers and occasionally my eyes, my toes simply don’t work.
      You will be near my heart for the duration. And then some.

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2009 at 7:22 am

      thanks all, for your support and thoughts.

      i begin my 1st chemo a week from monday– and i can hardly wait…
      since i began my interest in this protocol, they have had more people go through the program– they are at 10, and i am #11. their success has only improved. the last guy that went through the program is in a complete remission now, no meds, nothing. they are very proud and i am quite excited.

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2009 at 8:17 am

      Alice & Sophie,
      My prayers are with you.
      Thank you for the updates.
      Take care and best wishes.

    • Anonymous
      September 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm

      Alice and Sophie,

      It was such a treat talking with and seeing you both on Skype this morning!!! Looking good!!!! But the biggest treat for me, is seeing how positive and upbeat you both are – y’all provide great inspiration.

      And once you are healed, Alice, it will make it easier for the rest of us to point at you and say “I want what she had!!”

      Love and prayers to you both,


    • September 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Alice and Sophie.
      Thank you for the updates on this amazing process.
      Keep up your good spirits!
      I am praying for double blessings and a complete recovery!
      We are all inspired!