Good morning —
Just a bit of good news. Claire got discharged from the hospital late on Monday night after her 4th round of chemo and treatment. As of last night, her appetite and energy is pretty good. She’ll get to spend, assuming no setbacks, at least through New Years at her house with her family. Santa will know where to find her.
From what I’ve been told 4th hand, Claire’s numbers are “good” and stable. I’m not sure what that means except it is far better than “bad” and “declining” or “not improving”. After the New Years’ she is due back to Philadelphia for her 5th round of first line treatment. I think the goal of the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds of the first line treatment for her type of cancer is to find the hold-outs and 1 in a million cells that are still cancerous and kill them.
One of the things that has made her ability to tolerate these treatment rounds plausible has been blood transfusions. She has been getting blood products several times each cycle. A transfusion usually produces significant pain and symptom relief. Right now, blood is in short supply. Many centers that typically want to have a three to five day supply on hand are now operating with a twenty four to thirty six hour cushion. If you want to help Claire and plenty of other kids with cancer, see if you can give blood or platelets over the winter break. I’m signed up for another platelet session on January 3rd where I can watch a movie and make sure that someone else’s pain is alleviated.
Finally, I am still just blown away by all of your generosity. The apartment in Philly has been a godsend for Claire’s parents. My sister-in-law has a respite from the hospital to clear her head, get a good night’s sleep and decompress. That has been an incredible relief for her especially as they have not had to worry about the immediate financial toxicity of a cancer diagnosis that so many families need to face at the same time. Whenever I think about this, I tear up. So again, thank you.
Why is it so damn dusty in my office all of a sudden?
(Merry Christmas, Claire, and a HIPPO LOO FEAR!)
Wishing the happiest of Holidays to Claire and her family.
Merry Christmas. May next year bring even better news for Claire.
So happy to hear the (trending) positive news. Thank you for sharing and for giving us the opportunity to shoulder a small part of the burden that your family is experiencing. Holding you all in the light. ?
Excellent news. Here’s hoping 2021 is the year Claire kicks cancer’s ass! I can’t even imagine how horrific and stressful the diagnosis is for her parents. Glad to have contributed in a small way toward some respite for them.
So glad to hear that all is going well for Claire and her family. Wishing them all a very Merry Christmas!
I’m already scheduled for a platelet donation on New Year’s Eve, which is my regularly scheduled day. I got a message after my last donation saying it was my 150th platelet donation.
@Roger Moore: I was able to achieve my 2 gallon goal for 2020;
3 gallons for 2021
Hopefully next Christmas will be even brighter for Claire and family.
Great news! Wishing Clare and all of you a very Merry Christmas.
I wasn’t able to donate as much as usual this year because I got a positive test for Hep B after one donation. It was pretty obviously a false positive- I had a negative the previous donation, no symptoms, and a positive only on the antibody test, not the PCR test- but I got a 2 month deferral anyway. I’m going to see if I can hit 24 donations in 2021.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
A very Merry Chirstmas to Claire and her family. Such good news.
All good news, and Claire and family all get to be together for the holidays. Happy tears.
We live in an age of miracles and wonder – medical science advances from dedicated hard working people. So happy to hear this good news for Claire, her family and everyone in her camp.
It’s been over years now since Roadie Brother the Elder’s testicular cancer ordeal and yet, I can go right back to the palpable anguish of waiting – on the prognosis, the lab work, the brutality of chemo and the relief as it came in slow, incremental steps. It was a defining event in our family and it brought so much love and joy to our relationship as siblings.
Spouse donates platelets on an almost weekly basis – including yesterday. His blood center will be open Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day because of critical needs. Occasionally, he’ll get notification that his donation was delivered straight to a hospital for patient care and he gets emotional.
This is great news about Claire! I hope she has a great holiday time at home.
May 2021 bring blessings of health, happiness, and prosperity to Claire and all of the BJ fam.
Gin & Tonic
@Roger Moore: Last time I donated, doing an apheresis for double red cells, I asked about doing platelets, and they told me they wouldn’t take my platelets, they want the red cells (I’m O neg.)
Anyway, I’m at 11 gallons. Would be more, but I was deferred for quite a while due to babesiosis. That restriction was lifted a year or two ago.
David, thank you so much for sharing this encouraging update! I’m happy for Claire and her family, and hope 2021 sees the end of this ordeal for them. Happiest of holidays to everyone in the extended Anderson family!
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
@Gin & Tonic:
Do you have to take iron supplements? I’ve read that those are recommended for frequent regular blood donations and the double red donations
Praying for good outcomes for Claire and her family.
Prayers for Claire and the family.
Yay!! So glad to hear that Claire will be home for Christmas. Hopefully she will finish her treatment in the coming year and get back to being a normal kid again!
Thank you so much for the update! Sending all the good thoughts for everything to go Claire’s way in 2021, and lots of hugs to her family.
This news is the best news. A bright and merry Xmas and Happy New Year to Claire and all her family, including our Dave. Dusty in here.
Home for the holidays is the nicest gift of all. Thank you David for sharing Claire’s story and keeping us updated. Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Year.
Thanks, David! I’ve been wondering how Claire is doing.
Merry Christmas to her and her family, and to you for helping them out.
Thank you for the good news. I wish Claire and her parents hppy holidays, and a new year that sees her illness resolved in a good way.
Thanks for the update David, and the good news about Claire is welcome. Also, thank you very much for giving us all the opportunity to give.
This one hits close to home for me- a particularly aggressive form of leukemia punched my Dad’s ticket off this rock 31 yrs ago. At the time, I thought “Sixty-one years was a pretty good run”- now that I have outlived him by six years, I realize how much his life was cut short.
I also have mixed feelings about the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds of treatment. Dad had responded amazingly well to the first round. His doctor said he had not seen nor heard of a recovery like that with this particular form. Doctor said the protocol was to wait six weeks for the hold-outs to start reproducing and then go after them. After eight weeks and still zero sign of further development, he advised Dad to go ahead with 2nd round. We (my brother in particular) urged him to wait until there were positive signs of resurgence, but my dad had made the decision early on to follow Doctor’s Orders, and went ahead with treatment. His weakened immune system let him down when he picked up a staph infection; he went septic and passed in three days, without a trace of leukemia in his body.
Praying for a better outcome for Claire!
ETA: I do not wish my dad’s story to take away from Claire’s good news, nor bring anyone down. I am overjoyed that she will be home with family for Christmas!
Gin & Tonic
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): I take them for a couple of weeks before and after. Not sure what the recommendation of the blood center is, if any.
Blood donation for me is about a 45-minute drive (seems so ridiculous because it’s not like I live in the boonies) so I’ve been putting it off the last few months, after finding I did NOT have enough Covid antibodies to donate plasma (soooo disappointing!).
But now you’ve given me another good reason to schedule an appointment for Monday and end the year on a good note.
@Gin & Tonic:
I work for a cancer hospital, so they’re always desperate for blood products. Apparently platelets are especially critical for people undergoing chemo, so they’re always after more platelets. I used to give whole blood, but they pushed me to give platelets instead.
Thanks for continuing to share her story. Hope everyone in your family has a good holiday.
Be sure to tell Claire Santa has been vaccinated so he’ll be there!
Thank you for the update, David. I’ve been thinking of Claire and her family as the holidays approach, and hoping they will be able to find some comfort and joy in the season. Home for Christmas! — that’s good medicine, too!
Yea Claire! Home and easy to find. Rudolph was worried.
Thank you for the update, and glad the news is positive. Tell them we all hug them virtually.
Blood donation is falling on fewer and fewer people, it seems. Thanks to you who do it faithfully. I used to, but I have a condition such that I can never donate again. I wish I could, but I don’t want to inadvertently kill someone with a compromised immune system. Our child who spent a college year in England during mad cow also can never donate in her life. Seems there are more and more people in these categories.
Thanks for the update, David, and happy holidays to Claire and all her family, including you. I had been wondering how she was doing and am glad to hear she’ll be home for the holidays.
May 2021 bring further progress in every conceivable way.
Love to wake to GOOD NEWS! Go Claire!
J R in WV
Thanks for sharing this positive news about your niece we have all come to know a little bit. Good news like this is especially good this time of year. We are so glad she can go home for a brief holiday trip, and hope she enjoys the trip and builds up strength for the next trip back to her hospital.
Please do keep us posted on Claire’s progress. We are so glad for your family and this good news!
Thank you David for sharing with us the positive news about Claire.
Merry Christmas to her and her family, and to you and your family.
@Salty Sam: Heartbreaking story. I’m so sorry.
Sadly, the rules of the game are such that for all the big decisions, we need a crystal ball, which of course we don’t have. Your dad chose the play that would give him the best long-term chances, so I give him credit for going for it. If only we could know the outcomes. Again, I am very sorry.
Great news! I have a donation appointment on Jan 6th (they canceled my appointment for the 31st, wonder why…). Donated platelets once, and will be eligible to do that again when I am 234 yrs old, according to my donor info. (For real, it’s because of HLA/HNA antibodies.) I can still give power reds and whole blood, so I’m on for that!
Hoping Claire, and her family, and you and yours have a happy Christmas and New Years, and many many more !
Sorry no blood from me. The pills since my heart attack… But when more cash you need…
As Sally Starr (Philly TV personality of my youth) would say
Love, luck, and lollipops, Claire !
So happy to see this joyous news and that we were able to give her mom some respite from what must have been a tremendous burden. I am not allowed to give blood, but let us know if money would help pay for Christmas presents or anything at all I would be happy to help that way.
@Mary G: I think we’re in good shape for cash …. but thank you — good wishes and fingers crossed will be very helpful.
@dnfree: We have a condition that means we cannot donate blood. We are gay men who are HIV negative but that does not matter.
It’s great to hear that Clair is doing fine. Wish we could help.
Quite pleased to hear Claire is doing well.
Would like to donate if I could, blood tests have denied me this privilege.
@Dan B: that is sad, and unnecessary. I think some places have removed that restriction?