"The Process"

We talk, in the triathlon world, a lot about "The Process". The process of becoming the best professional triathlete we can be. Not everyone is going to be the best at their chosen sport, job, etc. Not everyone is going to qualify for the Olympics. Not everyone is going to qualify for Kona.

Those are just facts that sport, as well as most things, show. So we focus on "the process" rather than the outcome. And, as a side note I try to get my athletes to focus on "the process" rather than the outcome. You focus on being or doing better from day to day. Focus on making the decisions that you control to be better tomorrow that you were today. Sounds extremely corny, but it's true.

With this journey, we want the best outcome of course. But, rest assured, it is a process. The same but different. Sometimes striving for the best outcomes leads to frustrations.

Amy thought that a post about the stem cell transplant process and some of what it takes to get ready for it might be interesting. It is certainly a departure from where she anticipated being at this time last year. I didn't write last week just because. It was a tough week. A tough week because of the enormity of it all. There is some promising research into more targeted treatments. The Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) process is still considered the best path forward for many leukemia patients.

It was a tough week last week because Amy got hit with her annual/seasonal allergies and cold virus. We have continued follow-ups this week to make sure she is healthy and ready for the SCT. Being immuno-, or other, compromised prior to a SCT is not something that you want. SCT patients generally get an entirely new immune system, so going into the procedure healthy is paramount. Right now, on Tuesday her schedule has been pushed back about 1.5 weeks from what we originally thought.

Just what have the past couple of weeks looked like?

- A couple of trips to/from Austin/Houston

- Vital signs: height, weight, blood pressure, temperature daily

- SCT research coordinator visit

- Unrelated (Cord blood) Donor coordinator visit

- OB-GYN appointment

- Triple-Lumen catheter insertion (under collarbone)

- Sinus CT

- Chest CT x2

- Pulmonary function test...Amy's favorite (#sarcasm)

- 40+ total tubes of blood drawn for testing and labs

- 1.5 liters of Amy's own bone marrow harvested as a "back up". That is 2 big water bottles to put it in triathlete terms.

- 2x a week appointments with Amy's Stem Cell Dr.

- Weekly appointment with Infectious Disease Dr...for allergies and cold

- Test dose of SCT chemotherapy

- Radiation Treatment consultation

- Flushing (daily) and dressing change (weekly) of her catheter

- 2x nasal and bacterial swabs with seasonal allergy attach...picture on this entry taken immediately after one of them

That's a small snapshot of what is happening pre-admission. She will be inpatient for probably 4-5 weeks total. She (we) is waiting on her official admit date until these allergies and this cold are long gone. Right now the tentative date is May 10.

I'll probably post again this week.