Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When will be know if this treatment worked?

One of the things that stinks about the kind of leukemia I have is it takes literally months to know how well the chemo worked. We know it is working and I'm getting at least a partial response to the ritx/clad from my counts. The chemo will continue to work though for up to  6 months after you get it. Right now the plan is for a bone marrow biopsy mid-Dec. Based on my response so far and last time around we are expecting the results will be good (i.e., less than 1% minimal residual disease - MRD).

Lots of doctors argue that <1% MRD is a complete remission versus a partial remission. Given though I got those results in March 2013 and then in March 2014 my bone marrow biopsy showed "extensive involvement of hairy cells", ~80% of my bone marrow we are weary. We are going to watch my counts (as always). Last time my white blood cells (WBCs) never normalized. If they actually go up this time that would be a good sign. We have also talked to my doctor about doing another bone marrow biopsy next spring/summer to check and see what is going on. If the hairies are back then I should be able to be fast tracked into the NIH moxi study to hopefully zap them.

So we are in a watch and wait game. I need to avoid infections and rebuild my strength. In the hospital you can't move around much so despite my best efforts to do some exercises and roam the halls I have a ways to go to build back my energy (and muscles!). I am back at the doctor Friday, and then Mon and Thurs next week for check ups and will keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. glad to hear they let you out of the hospital and that you are hanging in there! we are always thinking about you, chad and the girls.