Patty is feeling much better today, and has been pretty energetic. She is still experiencing breathlessness, a problem that had been largely absent for several months until its reappearance a few days ago; thankfully, though, even these symptoms have been milder.
With the added energy came some real industry. Patty grabbed the phone and tackled a number of nagging matters, including a call to my health insurance company to find out why they arbitrarily bumped up my health premium by nearly 40% (and in the process drove our combined monthly premiums dangerously close to four figures...ouch.) Patty plays "bad cop" much better than I can, although she didn't win this particular battle.
Today, we heard back from one of Patty's doctors, who suggested that she would like Patty to undergo one more round of the Rituxan/Cytoxan, and then perhaps consider total lymphoid irradiation. We're waiting for the doctors to talk to one another so that we can establish a more complex plan of action based on more concrete information. Patty has said she will consider it if they can explain to her why the recent results are "encouraging", particularly when previous measures (e.g., late last year) seemed much more so.
The doctor also commented on the whole issue of adult stem cells, which is apparently a significant interest of hers. Her position was that while there has been some research that has been encouraging, and some case studies that seem very optimistic, she has ultimately found many more reasons to be skeptical than enthusiastic. She explained that many of the success stories do not continue to show success over time, and several tests have yielded few positive outcomes. She did say that this is an area worth watching over time, but that we should not include it in our hopes for Patty. We will keep considering this and any other ideas, so please feel free to share whatever you see and hear; you never know...