Thursday, August 6, 2009

What does CR actually mean?

Maggie, Debbie and I went to U.C. San Francisco yesterday with George and Sue, as part of Sue's support/care team. She had an appointment for yet more blood draws, an appointment with her physician and transplant coordinator, and then an appointment with a social worker. The staff was very insistent that she bring her care team with her and stressed the importance of having them along at this appointment. There were five of us altogether, including George and Sue. We didn't think that seemed like a huge group, yet amazingly they had a hard time finding a place for all of us to meet. Do most people only have one person who comes along as the support "team"?

We ended up in the Chancellor's office, sitting around one end of this ginormous granite table used for meetings with all the regents.
We very impressed with Sue's physician, Jeffrey Wolf, and also the transplant coordinator, Brigette. We were able to learn about her upcoming schedule, risks, benefits, answers to some really hard question, WHY she is undergoing the transplant when she is CR.

So the answer to the blog title: CR means complete remission. Sue is in complete remission, according to Dr. Wolf, and this was the first time Sue had heard that. Cause for celebration, for sure. But it brought up a whole lot more questions.

What does it really mean? She isn't cured. There are still lots of renegade cancer cells floating around, not congregating into a big enough group to be detected, but there nonetheless.

The stem cell transplant will be a long and arduous process. For Sue especially. For her family. For her close friends and caregivers. She will be in San Francisco for a couple of short stays, and then the biggie, three to four weeks. Then she will basically be on "house arrest" for one to two months after she gets home. She will need round-the-clock supervision. And round-the-clock prayers.

She is at the half-way point and there is light at the end of the treatment tunnel.


05 08
Aaron and Tracy Bryan said... #

CIndy, I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful friend you are. It is amazing to see the love you are showing to Sue. Know that Tracy and I have been and will continue to pray for her as she prepares for yet another step on this difficult journey. Your love for Sue is representative of your love for Christ! Well done!

Susan said... #

Excellent recap of the day! You are a good friend and I'm glad there are people out there like you!