Everyone is waiting
I know I promised answers from the doctor on Thursday but I’m afraid we left with more questions again. Dr. Vasu is brilliant and conservative and patiently explains everything to us. She also tends to focus on the negatives when talking to us. She is not the type to pat your head and tell you everything will be okay. She tells us that we are smart people and she knows we can handle it so that’s why she shares so much. Her words bring reality and it is scary. I need to hear the truth but I also need to hear something positive from her. Like I might have a chance of long-term survival with minimal complications. I know it’s a slim chance for me to finish this and live a normal, healthy life but if there is a chance I need to hear it. It’s what keeps me going.
On Thursday we did receive some good news but it is unclear how we will proceed. The anonymous bone marrow donor who was tested for me is a 100% match. He meets 12 out of 12 criteria. An allogeneic stem cell transplant using cells from this matched donor is an option for my treatment. This is a risky procedure with scary side effects and possible long-term damage to my body. It would require a 6 week hospital stay and a year for recovery.
The other option right now is continuing with chemo. However, phase 3 of chemo relies heavily on on the drug Vincristine. This is the drug that possibly caused my dysphonia, dysphagia and autonomic neuropathy that I am still dealing with. After consulting with top doctors it was decided to challenge the earlier problems with chemo and try a 50% dose of Vincristine and monitor closely for side effects. A decision on the transplant will occur only after observing how I tolerate the Vincristine. Phase 3 of chemo starts Tuesday