Now that we have decided that George will have his bone marrow transplant at UPenn, there is much to do to get him ready, as well as keeping him on the path to healing and staying in remission.
On Monday, the home health nurse from Bayada came by and looked at George’s wound on his leg. She said it looked better than the last time she saw it and that the his eschar (a collection of dry, dead tissue within a wound) looked smaller and better! Then she watched as we removed the dressing on the wound and put new dressing on to make sure we know what we are doing. We passed that test with flying colors! We have been doing this twice a day for several days and have it down!
Tuesday, George has an appointment with the orthopedic oncology doc. He saw the PA, Kayla Mercado, last week and so this is just a visit to see how the wound is healing and to make sure there is no infection. Last Tuesday, an actual doctor came in and examined George, along with Kayla and they both seemed very competent and friendly. George had seen them both while he was still hospitalized and they work with the surgeon who operated on his leg, Dr. Kim.
After we leave the orthopedic surgeon’s office, we have to run over to UPenn in Cherry Hill to get some blood drawn for George’s lumbar puncture (spinal tap) that is scheduled for next Wednesday. The labs have to be done a week ahead of time. We aren’t sure what they will be testing for.
Wednesday, George will get to spend a whole day in the office! Well, the home office…down the hall from the bedroom…where he has been working since COVID lockdown in 2020! Actually he does have something to do on Wednesday…..prepare for his colonoscopy on Thursday. Such fun!
So, yes… George will have a colonoscopy on Thursday. He had stage 2 colon cancer 10 years ago, which was discovered accidentally when he went to the ER with what he thought was an acute appendicitis attack. Luckily, the doctors were able to cut out the tumor and resection his colon, negating the need for any chemotherapy or radiation. But, now years later, he still needs to have his regular colonoscopies. Dr. Ghimire wants to be sure that there isn’t anything nasty brewing in his colon that might become more troublesome when the chemotherapy weakens his immune system considerably. He will also need to get a dental exam for the same reason – to make sure there aren’t any underlying dental issues that could cause trouble later on.
Friday, George will see his oncologist, Dr. Ghimire. I think he was hoping to have the results from George’s bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture before this appointment, but he got in as soon as he could at UPenn, so….sorry!. At the last visit, Dr. Ghimire said he wanted George to start another round of consolidation chemotherapy at the end of this week. I don’t think that is going to happen with the bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture appointments early next week, but we will see. Maybe you can have those things done while undergoing chemo?
Finally, later on Friday, George will have to go to CVS and get a COVID test. He must have the results of his PCR test to take with him to UPenn on Monday when he has his bone marrow biopsy. He has an appointment at 1:00 and he just drives through the pharmacy window, they hand him the kit and he administers the test to himself! Hands the kit to the pharmacists and should receive the results in a couple of days. We will be ready for some down time this weekend!