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Gearing up for stem cell...

gerbil runner

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Just an update on where my mom is at...

The PET scan showed only a tiny spot at the original lung tumor site, which the onc. and radiologist firmly believe to be scar tissue. Blood levels are good, EKG looks good, pulmonary function not great, but ok. Mom is supposed to have a stress test, also. She had a heart attack - minor - back in 1990, so everyone wants to be sure her heart is strong enough.

Friday, Sat., Sun. and today, she went in for Neupogen shots to stimulate stem cell production. Tomorrow is when they start collecting stem cells. Mom has to be there at 6 am, and it will take 8 hours. Due to her heart condition, the dr. wants her to stay overnite for monitoring (just to get more information). Since she would have to return at 6 am the following morning, it's probably just as well.

One thing the dr.'s want to do before she begins the super-chemo is remove the plastic stent which was placed in her pancreas. Since the tumor there is gone, the stent is no longer needed. We're not sure how the timing will work out, but I think Thursday is when they want to do the stent removal.

Once the stem cells are collected, Mom should get a few days off before being admitted.

We're getting nervous, anxious to get this over with. It will likely be at least 3 weeks hospitalization, and a slow recovery after. I'll keep everyone updated.

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I am so excited for your mom. Hope all goes well. I think I told you awhile ago that we know someone that did this for bone cancer and he is now doing extremely well (I am guessing also he is older than your mom and handled it very well). I wish you all the very best!

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Good luck as you all start this healing journey! I'm so proud of her for her courage, and yours too! My wish is a for a procedure without complications and a very speedy recovery. I know you will be with her every step of the way. She is being treated in RI, right? If she came to Boston, you'd get lunch out of the deal, from me! Tell your Mom special prayers are being said especially for her!

Take care.


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Thanks so much!

Stem cell is not a common treatment for LC. It's basically a way to give a massive amount of chemo, enough to destroy most/all of the patient's bone marrow, and then implant stem cells (preferrably self-donated beforehand, like my mom is doing) to rebuild the bone marrow. My mom was offered the opportunity because, even though she has extensive SCLC, she had a very fast, very complete response to chemo and only 2 tumor sites. If the cancer does not respond well to chemo, stem cell rescue does not make sense. Her onc. was with Dana Farber for many years, and also spent a couple of years at Roger Williams Medical Center, which is where the procedure will take place, so he's seen a lot happen in that area. He claims that, like most new treatments, only the patients most likely to benefit get approval. Once a treatment succeeds in a few trials, patients with more difficult circumstances are allowed the treatment. Naturally, results are not as good once tougher cases are being tried. Stem cell rescue has been used for a variety of cancers, with varying degrees of success. It's even being tried for people with severe rheumatoid arthritis.

As extreme and scary as the procedure is (about 2-5% of patients die of complications), she is being offered a better-than-50% chance of a CURE. As we all know, that beautiful word is not something usually offered for sclc patients. Mom is also lucky to have insurance willing to pay for the procedure.

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Guest bean_si (Not Active)

Jen, Prayers for you, your mom and your whole family. You must be very proud of her. She is courageous and is paving the way for a cure of SCLC. Tell her thank you from another SCLC patient.


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Wow Jen, this is unreal! I so hope your mom comes out of this with BELLS on! Way to go MOM! Everytime you post more information I just keep taking it all in. WOW!!!

GOD BLESS and GOOD LUCK MOM! Hang in here, we're ALL cheering you on!

Stay strong Jen, we're here for you!

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