At long last we are on the eve of the bone marrow test that will determine what direction Allistaire’s transplant will take. Allistaire is scheduled to go in for her bone marrow biopsy and aspirate tomorrow morning at 10:30. It is important that they get a really good sample to best enable accurate testing to be done. As I mentioned before, we will likely know morphological results by the end of the day on Monday and final Flow Cytometry results by the end of Tuesday. Dr. Pollard told me a few days ago that the bone marrow doctors are actually still not totally sure what transplant they will recommend if we are in a situation where Allistaire’s bone marrow is somewhere between 5-25%, given that this would qualify her for two very different transplants. I had been told last week that they prioritized the Busulfan/Matched donor transplant over the cord blood, but I guess the doctors are really just wanting to see where things stand in her marrow before they decide. Please be praying for agreement amongst the doctors once we have results. If Allistaire is put on track for the cord blood transplant, she will be transferred to the BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) team on Tuesday, 5/26. If she is to have the matched donor transplant, then she will be transferred to the BMT team on Monday, June 4th given that it will take a bit more time to arrange an actual donor.
This week Allistaire will also need a CT scan which will help assess her respiratory state and look at her back and left arm-pit lymph node where the cancer originally came back. The nasal wash test done a little over a week ago confirmed that Allistaire still has rhino virus, which is quite evident with her runny nose but is negative for all other viruses of concern, including RSV! We pray the RSV stays away! Thankfully Allistaire’s ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) has been a bit on the rise. On Saturday it was 286 and today it was 315. This is the highest Allistaire’s ANC has been in the last nearly 3 months since she began chemo. Hopefully her body will be able to more easily fight off anything that comes her way. The previous 2 CT scans have shown “no change” with the lumps in Allistaire’s back and lymph node. It is possible that Allistaire will have to have surgery this coming week to biopsy these two locations to check to see if what is showing up is scar tissues and/or dead cells or if there is any active disease there. This could impact the radiation she will receive.
Once Allistaire is transferred to the BMT team, there will be about 10-14 days of testing and getting back results to make sure her body can handle having a transplant and then she will have the conditioning chemo and potentially radiation. Then, finally, at long last, she will have her transplant. Looking at the calendar, I am guessing she will be end up having her transplant sometime around mid to late June. Wow does that still seem so far away. At least we are getting closer. It is also possible Allistaire will get to be out-patient for part of the time prior to conditioning. We’ll see. Interestingly, there are pros and cons to staying in the hospital (free babysitting during naps so I can get out a bit vs. non-stop people in your space).
I want to thank all of you who have donated to support me in Obliteride so far! I upped the original/required fundraising goal of $1,000 to $5,000 given that you helped me meet the original goal in the first five hours! As of now, I am almost half way to reaching $5,000. If you’ve been pondering giving but haven’t done so yet, please jump in and join us in furthering cancer research – the very research responsible in large part for Allistaire being alive today! Also, I went on my first ride today with my new fancy butt/crotch padded shorts my parents bought for me. Looking at the maps, I think I road about 15 miles. It was a beautiful evening and so fun to see all the lush plant life and views of the lake. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to ride, but I’ll look forward to sneaking in a ride during Allistaire’s nap time here and there, weather and schedule allowing.
This week probably won’t be an overly pleasant one for Allistaire given all the times of necessary sedation and pain from having her body probed. For myself, I guess I’m just thankful to finally be at this point and hopeful that the we will be moving forward with a transplant soon. I am SO thankful there is a transplant option available to Allistaire regardless of what the test results end up revealing – it takes some of the pressure off of tomorrow. I know that we could quite easily be in a position where a significant amount of disease in her marrow would simply disqualify her from getting a transplant. If that were the case, going into tomorrow would be so much harder. Almost funny (and wonderful) we have 3 possible paths. Also, I almost forgot – looks like we have one more matched donor for a total of 3!!!