it is with great sadness as well as a flood of other emotions, that I tell you the transplant failed. The way my doctor put it, my cancer has become very smart by now, since it’s been around for so long. It has no trouble recognizing healthy cells to take over. So what does that mean??
here is the plan:
- Liver biopsy ASAP (this will be the immediate response, and will be performed sometime in the next week)
- readily available trial medication
- Donor lymphocyte infusion
- clinical trials, various
- 2nd donor transplant
My docs seem optimistic, which makes me feel a little better, even if there is a hidden agenda is curing someone like me, and gaining a little publicity for it. Because I say, use me all you want in that case!!
there is a readily available drug that just came on the market recently (called NIVO something or other) which in theory could work for someone in stage IV with transformed diseases. The kicker here is that this drug has not yet been tried on someone post allo transplant like me. But trust, I’m totes be that lab rat.
There are a few other clinical trials for transformed disease in the liver, that I should be eligible for as well. These are designed to test the DNA of my liver, and to take a look to see if there is say a lung cancer treatment medication, that looks like it could potentially pair well with what my physical make-up shows.
There is also a procedure called a donor lymphocyte transplant. This is where just lymphocytes from the donor are injecting into my immune system. This is supposed to open my immune system up, so as to make it succeptable to accept these donor cells. The risk of that is gvhd (graft vs host disease) but at this point, I’ll take that any day over cancer.
My transplant doctor told me that we have some time, and I’m not going to die. You have no idea how powerful these words were to me, and I’m praying he is right. He said the last resort is a second allo, because he really believe that a combo or one of the other things listed above could be my savior.
Anyway, overall both derek and I are feeling both shocked and numb at the same time. Once again this happens during the holidays. Once again, our hopes of a cure are dashed. And once again, we didn’t see it coming. I really appreciate all of the positive vibes, prayers, etc from everyone (especially Mrs. Emily Quarrick’s class). It’s rather hard to talk on the phone right now until I can get things together mentally, so please don’t take offense if I don’t answer or it takes a while for me to call back.
I guess overall, things could be worse, and at least none of these drugs will make me lose my hair. So many perks.
dear God-I’m not ready yet. believe me when I say that I’m strong enough now. Please move on.