Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. Ours was wonderful. Kit, Demian, Callie, Mike and Davis (plus the added bonus of Mike's terrific dad) were all here for the festivities. We hated that Case, Sophie and Patrick couldn't be here--they spent the holiday with friends in Bulgaria.  Can't feel too sorry for them.
Since we last posted we've had excitement around here. Kit and Demian got married in a small ceremony here on Signal Mountain. It was lovely--the bride and groom make a lovely couple!  That event was closely followed by another 5 days of dacogen.
In November I went to see two doctors; the first one was in Atlanta. I had heard about a research trial from the doctor at Dana Faber in Boston.  He was working on the research with a doctor in Atlanta, and he had suggested I might consider it.  The drug is called ipilumumub (ipi).  It has been used with solid tumors but is in the trial stage for blood cancers. The trial is small and just open to folks who have a relapsed stem cell transplant. The hope is that the drug will urge the donor cells to be more active in fighting my leukemia cells.  Then I went to Vanderbilt to see what they thought. They were encouraging, and I came away thinking that maybe I would have a Donor Lymphocyte Infusion.  This is when they get white cells from the original donor to fight the bad guys. There were two "ifs" to this plan. I had to have at least 20% donor cells and less than 10% blasts (immature cells released by the bone marrow). The blasts were okay. The donor cells were not. I had 86% donor T-cells but only 1% (I did not forget a zero) donor B-cells. No DLI.
I thought those numbers would keep from getting into the ipi trial, but alas, no!  Monday I went to Atlanta to finalize plans to proceed with the trial. I will have to go to Northside once a week, and I will get ipi infusions every 3 weeks for 4 sessions. If it is successful, it will put me in remission and avoid having to make a decision about doing 7-3 induction infusion. I will keep my hair and fingernails!  So send prayers and good wishes that ipi does the trick. Where we go after remission is still under debate. A success story will buy me some good times, hopefully. Love to all. I'm out of room.

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