Monday, July 20, 2009

DAY +47: to Boston and Back

Top Line: undramatic results -- nothing notably bad, nothing especially good

Here's what I know about Susan's current condition and what happened at Susan's DFCI visit today:
  • white and red blood counts OK
  • platelets low now, but it appears to be related to a specific medication and is not a cause for concern (or infusion) at this point
  • VOD status is indeterminate: the bilirubin levels are about the same and it's not possible to say whether the VOD is in the process of resolving or it might get worse; Soiffer seems to think it's more likely that the condition will resolve itself slowly over time
  • Susan continues to be very uncomfortable with her ascites, and at times it is downright painful, but it is not considered serious enough to justify the risks of paracentesis (i.e., a needle and tube to drain the fluid), given Susan's compromised immune system; again, as the VOD improves, so should the ascites
  • Susan actually lost 8 lbs. since her last weigh-in (but I don't know when that was); how much of this loss is due to vanished lean body mass and how much to disappearing ascites fluid we can't say
  • to net out Dr. Soiffer's position: he is not dissatisfied with Susan's condition right now (given the setbacks that she's had), but he isn't thrilled by her progress, either; he is expecting that improvement will continue, but slowly
  • Susan informs me (first time I've been able to speak to her directly in days) that the nausea is still an issue, episodically
  • She is, however, spending her days mostly awake now, which is a welcome reversal
Susan will return to Boston for another checkup this Friday. It will include an ultrasound (kidneys, and I think liver) as well as the usual blood workup and consult with Dr. Soiffer. On the domestic front, for those who are curious about Bob's culinary feats, last night it turned out to be frozen pizza (remember, she isn't allowed to have the fresh stuff from a pizzeria, or any restaurant food for that matter). They have one more episode to go to finish the second season of Mad Men. If they're not too tired when they get back to Spencertown (they didn't leave Boston until 6 PM), they'll polish it off tonight. We'll know tomorrow.


  1. Well, it seems you are doing okay considering where you have been. At least the doctor released you to go back to the country where I know you are happier to be. It's just too bad you have to take the trip again on Friday.
    Frozen pizza is one of our most favorite dinners. DiGorno(sp) is our favorite until we tried California Pizza rising crust cheese pizza. Also, Lean Cuisine's butternut squash ravioli is also very good. Had it tonight while Rick is still back east and headed for Italy tomorrow night. Okay, this is becoming way too long, sorry.

    Love ya,


  2. Susan:
    I'm sure this is already on the radar, but just in case: Mad Men Season 3 premieres on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 10 p.m. on AMC. And with limited commercial interruption!
    Love you,