Steph had her third bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday and we had our results review meeting with our oncologist on Friday. The good news was that the levels of leukemia were much lower - now just 0.36% - a number that constitutes "old school remission". The discouraging news is that any detectable amount is not ideal. It did not come as too big of a suprise given the previous results and our doctor had been preparing us for what may be next.
Steph was originally scheduled to start cycle 5 (3A) of the HyperCVAD treatment yesterday, but given the results review the likelyhood of contining HyperCVAD and seeing different results is relatively low. The new plan is to pivot to a treatment called OP ALL R3 (sounds like a droid). This adds some new chemotherapy drugs into the mix. One specifically that targets a specific amino acid that the ALL requires as part of it's building block. ALL can't create this on it's own, so the goal is to starve it out. This treatment plan is slated to last about one month (four weeks) and is completed as an outpatient procedure at SCCA. So no hospital stay this round - barring any complications/infections. The timeline for intake and conditioning for the bone marrow transplant (BMT) is not really impacted and still slated to start in the next month. The OP ALL R3 treatment begins this coming Friday and will most likely have us at the clinic on our current every other day schedule (everyday for a few treatments). I will try to keep the "Latest Updates" page current as we move through the new treatment plan at the clinic.
We are hopeful that this new treatment knocks out the remaining leukimea and increases the odds of a successful transplant. We are grateful for a care team that is not satisfied with the status quo and is activly evaluating all treatment options for the best possible outcome which remains curative.
We were reflecting on how it's been a little over 3 months since diagnosis. It's felt like longer with all the ups and downs on this cancer roller coaster. We are so thankful for the prayers and support as we take the next steps, and continue to walk down the long road ahead.
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