Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Countdown Starts: 4 Weeks to Go

We had another meeting today at MDA with Dr. Kebriaei about Ann's transplant and I have some good news to share with everyone. Ann is still on the fast track for the transplant and it looks like the first round of chemo put her back into a stable remission. The single blast cell, and handful of metameylocytes detected in the last CBC from Thursday, are gone. So it looks like Dr. Thomas' theory about their presence being a function of marrow recovery was spot-on (as usual).

The best news of the day though is that the new transplant is scheduled for 4 weeks from today. According to Dr. Kebriaei, right now MDA is working on arranging a date for the donor to go to their local hospital and donate. By implication that means that the donor has checked out as healthy and has agreed to donate again. That came as a bit of surprise to us because we kind of thought things were stalled waiting for the approval letter from the insurance company, which only just arrived Monday but apparently that wasn't the case. It's nice to be pleasantly surprised once in a while.

Our good friend Nancy Sakakura had recommended we get a consultation/second opinion from her transplant doctor (Dr. Nakamura) at City of Hope (COH) in Los Angeles, and we took her up on it. Over the last two weeks we have been talking to Dr. Nakamura about Ann's case and apart from being incredibly generous with his time, he has also provided us with invaluable insight. Without getting into a ton of details Dr. Nakamura is in agreement with MDA's plan for Ann's transplant.

It occurs to me that I have not posted the details of what is being planned for Ann's new transplant. I think for the moment I'm going to avoid doing so until we are closer to the actual event. Suffice it to say it is one of the most aggressive and forward leaning transplants that MDA has EVER tried. It's pretty exciting, because if it works it could form the back bone of treatment for patients who have relapsed after front line treatment. The data on it so far shows that it roughly doubled the survival rate of second transplants. Here's to hoping!

Tomorrow, Ann will go into the hospital for one more round of in-patient chemo - duration 1 week. Then this will be followed up by more out-patient chemo, again duration 1 week. After that, I think Dr. Thomas and Dr. Kebriaei want her to have a two week rest. Then it's on to transplant. Wow! Feels like that's just right around the corner.


Susan C said...

This is absolutely amazing news!

Woo Hoo!!!

Nancy said...

All great news! We're keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed for you. In the meantime, take it easy! love n

Jennifer said...

Great news Ann. Be sure you enjoy the next 4 weeks

Kacie (Facebook group) said...

This is great news, congrats!