Monday, October 22, 2012
271 days ago, Jennifer received a fully ablative bone marrow transplant. In English, she had an extremely toxic chemotherapy and radiation regimen to totally eradicate her own bone marrow and had another person's bone marrow put in its place. This was a risky maneuver and fraught with fairly high treatment related mortality, but the trade off for us was that if afforded Jennifer the best chance at disease free survival. Today, we are sad to report that Jennifer's leukemia has returned despite our aggressive approach in treatment. This was what we all lived in fear of. We met with Dr. Savani today, Jennifer's transplant doctor, who went over the results of the bone marrow biopsy and the treatment options we have. Due to Jennifer's recent bone marrow transplant (less than 1 year ago being recent) and her extensive graft versus host disease, an aggressive regimen of chemo to quickly put her back into remission is ill advised. It is associated with around 30% treatment related death (i.e. death as a direct result of chemo). We are offered a less intense regimen with the goal of slowly achieving remission. Our chances of remission are slim, and our chances of sustained remission meaningful for long term survival is even more slim. However, we are not without hope. Patients have survived this in the past and Jennifer's attitude is superb. We will give this our best shot. We will need your unceasing prayers for remission and safety in treatment. We will also need your prayers for our steadfastness in this endeavor and that our focus will not be removed from glorifying God through this illness. Jennifer and I along with our families will be taking an impromptu trip to Florida for some much needed R&R and bonding prior to this next round of treatment. Be prayerful that we will be safe, avoiding infection, and enjoy our time with one another. My best to you always, Matt
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Jen received news today that the marker that gauges bone marrow engraftment revealed 97% engraftment. This is down from 100% several months ago and 99% a few months ago. While a 2 or 3 percent drop does not sound like much, it is obviously not as desirable as maintaining 100% engraftment. The drop could be caused by the steroid dosage she is on or, worst case, her body is rejecting the donor marrow. Please pray that her body is continuing to accept the marrow and that the drop is in fact being caused by the steroid dosage which will be a more easily remedied scenario. Please pray for the doctors, that they will continue to be blessed with wisdom and graciousness as they tend to Jennifer. Please pray that she will have THE peace that surpasses all human understanding.