So sorry we haven't shared any of Island Dog's adventures since May. Finnegan is fine. It is Pat who has been in tough shape.
Our Island Dog, Finnegan, has been so worried about his "dad" that he couldn't bring himself to share his summertime adventures. Pat needed a bone marrow/stem cell transplant this summer. He was hospitalized at Moffitt Cancer Center on the campus of the University of South Florida for almost three weeks in July.
Then he needed to remain close by as an outpatient for another week or so.
Pat has a type of bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma. It had been under control for years. But when it became active again this spring, Pat and I decided it was time to get serious.
Pat had what is called an auto stem cell transplant, which means his own cells, which had been harvested four years ago at Mayo Clinic, would be infused into his body after two extreme doses of high dose chemotherapy killed most of his existing bone marrow.
Existing cancer cells in his harvested, frozen stem cells (almost sounds like sci-fi, doesn't it?) die during storage. So his own cells are put back into his body with an IV. In around ten days they start to grow, replacing the existing, cancer filled marrow with new, healthy cells.
In the meantime, his blood counts dropped to zero, so he needed several blood and platelet infusions. He also lost his hair.
Here is one of Pat's favorite pictures taken the day he came home. It shows one of the oncology nurses removing the central line--which had been surgically implanted in his chest the day he arrived--from his chest.
He set-up the picture to look like she was pulling an alien creature from his chest. I'm just taking the pictures...
It was scary, and Pat was pretty sick. Finnegan would sit in the front window, or stand by the front door waiting for him to come home. He finally did three weeks ago.
Although there isn't any cure for Pat's cancer, undergoing this procedure should help him live several years or more without needing constant medication like he did for over four years before.
Finnegan is excited about this, since it means his "dad" should feel better and take him more fun, tropical places.
Since this blog is supposed to be all about our Island Dog, I will close by sharing a close-up of Finnegan enjoying our hot, Florida summer by the pool...
Life is always great on the island!