Day Zero went well :) Like a dying Phoenix rising from its ashes, I was reborn once again (Harry Potter reference heh). Here I am with my donor’s cells seconds before the infusion. More photos to come later!
Your prayers always seem to be helping Janet. Here’s the latest from her:
"Via email with my oncologist about my latest bone marrow biopsy check for relapse:
'Hi Janet - Great news the bone marrow shows 2% blasts consistent with maintained complete remission. Excellent!!!'
What this means is that as I stay within 0-5% I am considered in remission and ready to go for transplant. Repeated tests will show that I am 0% or 1% or 2% once again. They will all fall in this range. I hope I continue to stay this way for the next 12 days since I’ll be admitted for my final run on Aug 19. Wheeee!!!”
Janet wants to develop a soundtrack and give away to other patients and survivors at MD Anderson. What are some of your favorite songs about faith, perseverance, survival, love, bravery, courage, etc.?
Dear co-survivors: Happy news abound. I am the 12th patient in the US to undergo this immunotherapy drug — and I am finally in remission. My blasts went from 82% to 2% remaining in only one cycle of the drug.
I also have finally found a match - a 9/10 male donor. It’s not perfect, but I can’t complain! But now we are also looking for matches in the cord blood registry. My doctors and I will decide which route to go.
Wherever you are, please turn up the radio and let’s have a global dance party! :)
Thank you everyone for all your hard work. Now it’s on me to finish the marathon."
We are officially down to approximately two weeks, and Janet still has NOT found that match. She will be finished with her 11th round of chemo this week. After getting a couple of days to rest, Janet will undergo another bone marrow biopsy to check if she is finally in her second complete remission. If she gets the green light, Janet will ABSOLUTELY need to have a match and be ready to go for her transplant.
At this point, we’re still very hopeful, because a lot can happen in two weeks. She’s been having a rough time balancing her demands and returning messages promptly since she gets so many e-mails a day, but Janet’s been keeping all her co-survivors in her thoughts.
These past few months have been an incredibly emotional, draining, stressful, hopeful, and inspiring for us here at Team Janet.
Let’s give everything we’ve got in these remaining weeks.
If you can organize a last minute drive at a great venue, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Here’s a little health update for my Tumblr followers:
My LFT (liver function tests) levels are extremely high both, and I’m currently experiencing acute liver damage once again. I’ve been unable to proceed with my 11th round of chemotherapy to approach remission until this recovers. The liver inflammation is a side effect from aspariginase.
If it does not reach normal parameters by Thursday, I will be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient again for a tougher chemotherapy regimen. My hematologist-oncologist is currently trying to figure out my back up drug plan. I’ve been trying to drink wheatgrass shots and foot acupressure (complimentary therapies) to do whatever I can to bring these levels down, though most of it is out of my control.
I’ve been struggling with ongoing nausea, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and general weakness. But I’ve still been able to go out, and most people can’t see that I’m very sick.
Please pray for protection of my liver and minimal side effects. Please pray for readiness of chemotherapy. Please pray for a miracle match.
Janet just finished receiving her two-day chemo infusion of methotrexate, vinchristine, and aspariginase. She has also started dexamethasone.
She’s also been working hard behind-the-scenes when she has energy with organizing drives, filming updates, answering media requests and beginning thank you cards to all her supporters! If you have not heard from her or Team Janet, please be patient :) Healing and heading the movement has been a full-time job for her. We also want her to spend as much time resting as possible and making the most of her limited time at home with friends and loved ones. Please rest assured that she reads nearly everything sent to her.
One thing Janet wanted us to let you know is that every single time she visits her health care team, she proudly brags to them on the donor counts made possible by ALL OF YOU. We’ve reached over 14,000 registrants so far… and counting!!!
Please watch and spread this Feb. 2012 update from Janet herself!
We found that Janet’s cancer is more resistant to the chemo than originally thought, so until she is in remission, her doctors cannot go through with a bone marrow transplant at this time. Janet will battle another 3-4 rounds of chemo to kill it off, with each round lasting about a month. We’re now targeting JUNE for the new date for her transplant.
What this means:
The BAD: Janet’s cancer is resistant and she STILL hasn’t found a match.
The GOOD: We now have more time to find a match! Also, the next rounds of chemo are outpatient, which means she doesn’t have to live in the hospital.
Please continue to organize marrow drives and spread the word! YOU can be the one to save her life!
For more info, visit HELPINGJANET.com.
As we approach March, we are still searching for Janet’s match.
With little time remaining, we are still trying to get as many people registered as possible.
Janet will be going back to the hospital to undergo another round of intense chemotherapy early next week. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers and continue to check HELPINGJANET.COM to find drives and events in your area.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has continued to support Janet and other patients in need!
Health Update Day 36:
Thanks for all the positive energy and prayers for Janet’s WBC. Immediately the day after the request, her WBC’s nearly tripled! And now she’s currently at WBC: 1.4 with ANC: 1.26!! However, this did not occur without enduring migraines, headaches, body aches, and insomnia from the hospital environment. Janet is currently trying to manage her pain levels. With that said, doctors are now just figuring out how long she can sustain her platelet counts before needing a transfusion.
Unfortunately, Janet finally succumbed to high iron levels due to the number of RBC transfusions over the course of 2 years. She has started iron removal therapy, which thankfully causes no pain except lowering her blood pressure.
The good news is that she will most likely be discharged from the hospital before or during this upcoming weekend! She will get two weeks of rest along with clinic visits as an outpatient. Janet is excited about returning home and seeing her dog, Paco, who she believes should be our beloved mascot. What do you all think?