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Author:  Ginny G. for Mamie
E-mail:  ggnadt@execpc.com
Date:  2/1/2004 3:49:00 PM
Subject:  Update from Mary Anne Potter
Message:  Here's another update from Mary Anne Potter. I think it's a little delayed because I was having severe e-mail problems. I'm not sure of the original date it was sent to Mamie.

Dear Family and Friends,

  Well, we returned home on Wednesday afternoon from our whirlwind trip to Omaha, Nebraska. We left Monday morning to go to Tulsa because the weather in Ponca City was beginning to turn bad with snow and ice predicted and we didn't want to travel on icy, snowy and treacherous roads from Ponca City to Tulsa if we could possibly avoid it.

  What an adventure we had in a very short amount of time!!!  Within an 18-hour period we had flights cancelled, delayed flights, a flight attendant who was booked on two flights at the same time and we had to wait 2 ½ hours for her to land in Minneapolis (our intermediate stop), mechanical and housekeeping problems on one of our planes and more. None of these problems were due to weather I might add.  However, we made it to Don's appointment at the University of Nebraska Medical Center with one minute to spare.  But,
we made it and that was the important thing!!

  A volunteer who drove us to the Lied Cancer Center met us at the Omaha airport.  Several churches in the Omaha area have members who volunteer at the Lied Center as one of their ministries.  We were quite relieved to see
his face since we were overdue by 3 hours.

 We were ushered into a room by Jo Torrey, (not the New York Yankees baseball coach).  Ms. Torrey is Don's case manager.  She had us watch a
40-minute video about stem cell transplants.  It was a fast moving video filled with facts and figures about stem cell transplants; I had a difficult time taking notes because of the scientific nature of stem cell transplants.
After the video was completed we then met with one of Dr. Vose's team doctors who spent several minutes interviewing Don. She wanted to find out
more information about some of the items in Don's folder that was unclear.

After spending quite a while with this doctor, Dr. Vose and her team of doctors (two were from Guatemala) then came in. Dr. Vose continued to ask
Don several additional questions. She then informed us that from the evidence presented in the C-T Scan, (more commonly known as Cat Scan), and the PET scan, Don was NOT a candidate for a stem cell transplant at this time.

  She said that the majority of the lymph nodes were no longer cancerous, however, there was one area in his abdomen that was suspicious and because stem cell procedures are so traumatic on the patient, she could not in good conscience advise Don to have this procedure until it was clear that this suspicious area was cancerous. So, she advised Don to have the painful bone marrow test ASAP to determine if the cancer was in the bone marrow and that he was to have C-T Scans and PET Scans every three months to see if this
suspicious area was indeed cancerous. The bone marrow test is scheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow.
Don is thrilled that he does not have to undergo this treatment at this time. We would have had to check into the Lied Center in Omaha for several
months and then he would have had to spend several months at home recuperating from the transplant before he could re-join the world.  It usually takes about one year for a patient who has had this procedure to return to good health.
Don left the Cancer Center with a huge smile and said he felt as if a huge weight was lifted off of his shoulders. We still have several questions,
however, that need to be answered.  Does Don still have cancer? Time and further tests will tell.  

And will his cancer return?  Time will answer that
one also.  What we do know is that we definitely felt your prayers all throughout the trip to Omaha.  We thank God for each of you.  We could not have traveled this long journey we have been on without you.  You have been an important part of our hope and optimism. We praise God for our doctors, their staff, and all who helped Don in his quest to regain his health.

When I have more information to present to you and if I have any answers to our questions, I will. We have learned a lot about cancer in general,
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, bone marrow tests, C-T scans, Pet Scans, stem cell and bone marrow transplants, and more, but, we have learned about the goodness and kindness of our family, friends, and even strangers.  It continues to amaze us how generous and kind people have been to Don and me
and to our children during this time.  We would never have asked to go on this journey, but we have not found it unbearable.  God and you have gone with us; we felt His and your presence. You have made this journey with us and we never have felt alone.  We thank you from the innermost corner of our hearts.

God Bless You!
Mary Anne

 Update from Mary Anne Potter by Ginny G. for Mamie  at 2/1/2004 3:49:00 PM