Sunday, May 31, 2009

mid-day update Sunday

On the continuing saga of Susan's connections:
  • In Friday's post we reported that the heplock in Susan's left wrist (Heparin IV lock, a peripheral intravenous line), which had become quite painful, needed to be relocated to the right wrist. By last night, it had become so uncomfortable in the right wrist that the line was removed. She also had a bout of nausea, so it was not a good night for sleep and recuperation. However, she does sound fine today and not too much the worse for wear.

  • Rob Soiffer, her lead transplant doctor was in to see her around noon, and they decided to move the heplock back to her left wrist, as it is important to maintain two means of access to her bloodstream. Despite these issues, Soifer remarked that Susan is the healthiest patient he's dealing with right now. Going into a transplant, the healthier the better. We'll take it.

  • The culture that has been maintained on the infection in the PIC line is now negative, so that problem seems to be resolved. However, they are planning to remove the PIC line on Tuesday after the infusion of the donor stem cells and to install a double PIC line a couple of days later.

Despite the few small speedbumps, Susan is still on schedule - final pre-transplant chemo treatment 1:30 AM Monday morning, a day off on Monday, transplant sometime on Tuesday. The chemotherapy is working well; Susan's white count is down around 1.2 (that is, 70% below the bottom of the usual range of 4,000-10,000), this from a high of 318. It will likely decline even further by Tuesday. This is good.

Callie and Charley are returning to New York today, but I'm going up to Boston tomorrow and will stay through Friday.


And regarding our growing photo gallery . . .

Callie posted a photo yesterday (taken surreptitiously by our undercover operative) of the gang behind the recent rash of unsolved bank robberies in the Boston area. They had convened in Susan's room to plan their next heist, figuring a private room in the transplant unit of an oncology ward would provide great cover.

Above are three members of the gang -- Chazamatazz, Nate Lightfingers, and the Callalily Kid (in front, seated) -- caught by one of our hidden cameras in a rare moment of relaxation. Notice the glove on Nate's left hand, thin enough not to impede his exquisite touch with a safe's dial while ensuring that no prints will be left behind.

The question on all our minds is: is Susan, whose room seems to have become the gang's headquarters, an innocent dupe, a member of the gang, or, perhaps, the mastermind behind the whole operation?


  1. Aunt Susan,

    Just wanted to wish you all the best in the couple of days before your procedure. The strength and courage that you've displayed over these last couple of weeks has truly been inspiring to me, encouraging me to do my best, especially with my last couple of weeks of school work. Simply put, you have been my hero of the month. (Not an easy feat!) Keep on keeping on Aunt Susan -- I'll give you a HUGE hug and a kiss the next time I see you.


    Charley (K.)

  2. Susan,
    The entire Herman clan wishes you the best and we want you to know that we are all thinking of you!!
    Harriet, Jack
    Amy, Jason and Max
    Gaby, Philip, Asher and Oliver

  3. Hi Guys,
    So glad all is going well. Love the doctor's comment on Susan's good health. Looking forward to more such good news in coming days.
    We missed you all in CC this weekend. Nansi and Steve's party was lovely but not the same without you all there.
    Much love, Susan and Harry

  4. Susan,
    We are all in there pulling for you. I have en saved a Red men seat for you.

  5. Dear Susan,

    I'm so glad that I'm able to follow your progress here (so I don't have to bug Callie too much!) You have been in my thoughts constantly, and I will of course be thinking of you this weekend while enjoying your beautiful house for Rachel's celebration.

    Much luck and love,


  6. Dear Siegels,

    Mom just shared the blog with me. You are all in my thoughts- but most of all you, Susan. You are one tough cookie so I know all will be OK in the end. My warmest and positive thoughts are with you.


  7. My brother will be undergoing a stem cell transplant for AML leukemia soon at City of Hope. I googled blogs about transplants and yours came up.

    Best of continuing good luck for a FULL cure and recovery.


    Nina VandeWater
    Nashville, TN