I found out last Friday that everything had finally gone through with my insurance, the oncologist, and the hospital...it only took how many months?! I am scheduled to be in Dallas next week:
Monday- meeting with my oncologist the last time before starting and getting a vein check
Tuesday- Line placement day...not so fun! Monday they will be looking for basically a substantial part of my body they can go thru with the IV to get a strong vein that can withstand the procedure. Honestly, most people I have talked to or read about have had this done in their neck...definitely not looking forward to that...but at least its only in for a day regardless.
Wednesday- I have to be at the hospital at 7am to do my t-cell retrieval...goodbye millions of cells
These will then be frozen, shipped to California, and taught karate and kung foo fighting. Apparently around 17 business days they hit black belt status and are then sent back to my hospital. I'm assuming this will be around Oct. 29th-ish. When they come back I will start my 3 days of intensive chemo to completely wipe out my body so when the newly trained cells are put back in me they have free reign with a blank slate to hopefully work their magic. Yes, this means I will more than likely lose my hair for a 3rd time (or at least the little thats grown back since March).
After the 3 days of chemo and the cells being put back in me is when the real "fun" starts which I will wait and blog about later. Let's just say it won't be all unicorns and rainbows and this whole procedure brings the opportunity for a long list of side effects. Because the side effects can be so bad, specifically neurologically, I have to stay in Dallas for a month to be close when something happens and I have to go back in. Just the risks you have to take to stay alive these days apparently! So far, this CAR-T procedure has had a 50% success rate...so fingers crossed I will for once in my life get some good luck vs my life long string of bad.
^^^^^^^The true definition to cancer ^^^^^^^
So, it looks like I will thankfully not be in the hospital and/or Dallas for my birthday as I originally thought (one benefit to the long approval wait) but I will probably be there for Thanksgiving. I have a mountain of stockings I'll be sewing to hopefully keep me from going even more crazy...if that's even possible at this point.