Good morning —
Just a bit of good news. Claire got discharged from the hospital late on Monday night after her 4th round of chemo and treatment. As of last night, her appetite and energy is pretty good. She’ll get to spend, assuming no setbacks, at least through New Years at her house with her family. Santa will know where to find her.
From what I’ve been told 4th hand, Claire’s numbers are “good” and stable. I’m not sure what that means except it is far better than “bad” and “declining” or “not improving”. After the New Years’ she is due back to Philadelphia for her 5th round of first line treatment. I think the goal of the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds of the first line treatment for her type of cancer is to find the hold-outs and 1 in a million cells that are still cancerous and kill them.
One of the things that has made her ability to tolerate these treatment rounds plausible has been blood transfusions. She has been getting blood products several times each cycle. A transfusion usually produces significant pain and symptom relief. Right now, blood is in short supply. Many centers that typically want to have a three to five day supply on hand are now operating with a twenty four to thirty six hour cushion. If you want to help Claire and plenty of other kids with cancer, see if you can give blood or platelets over the winter break. I’m signed up for another platelet session on January 3rd where I can watch a movie and make sure that someone else’s pain is alleviated.
Finally, I am still just blown away by all of your generosity. The apartment in Philly has been a godsend for Claire’s parents. My sister-in-law has a respite from the hospital to clear her head, get a good night’s sleep and decompress. That has been an incredible relief for her especially as they have not had to worry about the immediate financial toxicity of a cancer diagnosis that so many families need to face at the same time. Whenever I think about this, I tear up. So again, thank you.