Alese Coco's Journey through Hodgkins Disease

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Decision Process Over…

The trip to MD Anderson has been indefinitely postponed.I went to City of Hope on Thursday and I was presented with three options…

The first was a stem cell transplant and the second was MOPP, and the third was a new clinical trial called “Nanoparticle” chemotherapy. This trial is so new that if I decided to participate, I would be the first one in the country to have the drug. This was literally just approved by the FDA for human use.

My Mom, Dad and Dr. O. spoke last evening and I’m going to begin the process of going through a second stem cell transplant. Hopefully, this will take place at City of Hope, if not, I’m headed to New York for two months. City of Hope has not done many second stem cells transplants in recurrent HD patients and we’re not sure if they’ll do it.

Without question, I’m scared, I had a stem cell transplant in 2002 and no doubt, this is a horrible, horrible process. However, this gives me the opportunity for cure and I’m going to seize this moment.

I request your prayers for me and my family, my parents are in the process of arranging their schedules, I’ll have conditioning therapy for the next few months and then I’ll be in the hospital for a month after the transplant.

Fight 2 Win,

-Alese

Monday, January 15, 2007

Texas Trip Delayed One Week…

My Mom and I were supposed to leave for Texas this morning, but due to severe weather in Houston, along with my Mom being sick, we decided to put off the trip for one week.

My parents and I discussed all of the options and felt waiting a week would not negatively impact me.

I’m still taking Valproic Acid along with the steroid Prednisone (I hate steroids and the side effects caused by steroids) However, I should add that overall I feel okay, not great, but okay and I left the house three times last week.

One trip was with our friends the Spector family, who accompanied my friend Jason and me to a taping of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. It was soooo fun. After the show concluded, we went back stage and took pictures with Jay; I’ll post them when they come in the mail.

Adam Spector (25) also has recurrent HD was in town seeing Dr. Kirschbaum at City of Hope. He has bravely fought HD for two years and is a warrior in his own right.

I appreciate your continued prayers as we explore new treatment options.

Fight 2 Win,

-Alese

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy 2007…

I’m standing strong, I’m doing okay, not great, but okay.

I started taking Valproic Acid a few weeks ago and last week Dr. O added a steroid to the mix last week and I began feeling better. In the last few days and I've slept through the night two nights in a row.

Valproic Acid is a sister to SAHA, also a HDAC inhibitor. The side effects are nothing like SAHA and I’m able to function. Thank God!

Some of my symptoms have begun to dissipate the itching has taken a serious toll on my legs and they’re shredded, scabbed and bruised.This is probably the worst HD symptom and probably one of the most debilitating.

I’m going to Texas on the 14th... I want another opinion and my Dad and I are going to MD Anderson in Huston. I’m also looking into two other options; we’ll see how things unfold in the next few weeks.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Fight 2 Win,

Alese