That's Jackie with a giant chocolate Reeses Cup I purchased in "the subway". I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but the subway is actually a group of tunnels that connect the downtown buildings in Rochester as well as the various Mayo buildings and hotels. There is a tiny underground city below the city streets. I felt kind of silly asking "where's the train" until I hear someone else today ask exactly the same thing!
The other picture shows the view outside the window. The hospital is very nice and the staff is VERY professional! The view from the window gives us a great vista of the local cement plant and seed store. Both, surprisingly busy!
Jackie finished her chemo today. She received 750 mg of Rituxan by IV, 1 mg of IV Vincristine, 1500 mg of Cytoxan by IV and 200 mg of Predisone by mouth. She got very sick during the Rituxan treatment - low blood pressure, uncontrollable shakes, nausea and vomiting. The Rituxan treatment lasted about 15 hours! After 3-4 hours the symptoms subsided and she felt fine most of the day. The Cytoxan is the most toxic of the group. On a scale of 1-4 it is about a 2...so things could be worse.
Jackie will probably begin to get ill in about 5-7 days from the Cytoxan. It kills the fast growing cells in the body. It will alter and kill the CLL cells as well as those in the gastrointestinal tract. For this reason her stomach will begin to get upset and she will likely develop sores inside her mouth. It will also be this drug that causes her to lose her hair (a 50-50 chance).
I know a lot of you don't know much about the various drugs so I am including a paragraph from Stanley Lapidus below:
"A few years ago, I looked pretty carefully at Rituxan--it was similar to a drug a Mayo doc had come up with, and I was contemplating starting a company around his discovery. Didn't work out, but not for scientific reasons. At any rate, Rituxan is really one of the miracles of biotech. For patients who respond to it (not all do), it has a profound effect."
We had a visit today from Dr. David Ahlquest. Dr. Ahlquest is a good friend of Stanley and Ruth Lapidus (Tiff's in-laws). Dr. Ahlquest and his wife have been VERY hospitable! With the help of Stanley, Ruth, Dr. Ahlquest and his wife Susan I'm afraid Jackie would still be languishing in Tulsa!
Lastly, Jackie's chemo is finished for now. It is possible she will be discharged in a day or two. She would continue to get daily CBC blood counts as an out-patient. It is possible the remaining chemo treatments that will likely follow in 3-4 week intervals could be done in Tulsa. It is also possible for her to fly her every 3 or 4 weeks for a daily chemo session. Future sessions are not likely to lead to side effects or further illness. /Still, we will likely be here another 10-12 days at a minimum. We will not have certain test results for at least a week. They also wish to monitor her progress. Given what we have seen of The Mayo...this is the place to be!