Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Journey to Day Zero and Beyond

Welcome to the documentation of Curt's Bone Marrow Transplant journey. This is the place where you will find updates, progress and even some education on what our family is to expect in the coming months.

In March of 2011, dad was diagnosed with stage IV Follicular Lymphoma. The big C had hit our family in a big way. Our family was introduced to this diagnosis as "slow growing, incurable, but mostly manageable".

Since 2011, dad has undergone multiple cycles of chemotherapy in attempts to send the lymphoma into remission. Even though we saw great response to the chemotherapy, the cancer continued to return, a littler quicker each time. Unfortunately/fortunately dad's oncologist has one last trick up his sleeve to attempt remission of the cancer. One which is not for the faint of heart, stem cell/bone marrow transplant.

This journey has been in the back of our minds for quite some time, and was something that we were expecting to attempt towards the end of September (after a family beach vacation of course). Little did we know, there were other plans in store.

Last week, dad returned to the oncologist to begin entertaining the idea of setting up a transplant "schedule", if there really is such thing. What we found out instead, was that his cancer was back and in a really big way. New areas of cancer were now present, and if we didn't start treatment yesterday (literally) his shot for transplant could be out the window. Some people say hard decisions must be given time; but ours only had about 48 hours. As a family + oncologist decided to pursue treatment ASAP if it still meant we could kick the crap out of this disease.

As of this Tuesday dad has started his Journey to what they call "Day Zero" in the transplant world...more to come on that later.
In order to be ready for transplant, dad's cancer must be as diminished as possible and he must have the lowest immune system response as possible, both difficult to obtain. In order to do attempt to meet both of these goals, dad's oncologist and transplant oncologist prescribed an intense chemo regimen, which would place dad in the hospital for at least 4 days. This same regimen will have to happen a total of 4 times before transplant can be considered.

Dad was admitted to the hospital last night and received his first of four doses of chemotherapy, named R-ICE, that he will get in the next 3 days.

Day 1: Had a few hiccups, as dad had quite the reaction to the Rituxan portion. As he has never had chemo in the inpatient (admitted to the hospital) setting, it was a much different experience than he was used to as an outpatient (in the doctor's office). Instead of taking 6 hours to infuse, the drug took almost 16 hours to complete which ended up setting the regimen back a day, but all looks alright thus far.

Day 2: Today's chemo consisted of three different drugs: Etoposide, Carboplatin and Ifosfamide.
Both the Etoposide and Carboplatin infused without any issues and as we speak, the Ifosfamide is currently infusing the course of 24 hours.

It is truly amazing what the body can withstand. I won't ramble on much longer, but want to thank everyone for the support and prayers we have felt this week. They have not gone unnoticed and they feel like a shield of armor against the battle we are facing.

Stick along for the ride! #cancersucks #thejourneytodayzeroandbeyond


  1. Thank you so much for keeping us informed. We are indeed praying continually. You all are in our thoughts and we are here to help in any way needed.

  2. Thank you for the updates Casey! Go Curt! You got this! #CancerSucks

  3. Thank you for writing and sharing your blog Casey! Prayers for strength and success.

  4. Casey, thank you so much for taking the time to keep everyone in the loop.. It must be such a difficult time, but I know no stronger and close knit family that could handle this. Curtis and your family are in my thoughts every day. Sending my love!!

    -Alex Majkowski