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To proceed with a BMT or stay on treatment?!

Krashy
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2010

I am 43 and currently undergoing the Dana Farber protocol for PH+ ALL and have been on Gleevec since July 2010. I am midway through the intensification phase of treatment and still in remission. My Dr. is now recommending that I consider a BMT vs. moving to the next and final treatment phase.

I am at a crossroads in terms of my next move. From what I understand Gleevec is a drug that controls the PH+ Chrom, not something that cures it.

A BMT is a high risk procedure with no guarantees.

Has anyone opted to continue with treatment and not go the BMT route?

Thanks for your input

Janto
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011

I am 57 and was diagnoses with secondary AML in June 2010. It was suggested to me to have a BMT. I was afraid to go thru with it, because of the possible side effects, which as you know could be worse than the AML. I opted to have a better quality of life. I am in remission now and have been since the initial chemo in June.I had cytarabine, and danirubicin. My wbc count was extremely high on my initial diagnosis and I ended up having 3 stokes. I am feeling good these days, a few aches and pains and I get tired easily, but doing well.

Janto

abundantmind
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

I was diagnosed with AML back in 2000.

I am now 44 and have survived 9 years without a BMT. My rationale goes like this...

I had become allergic to the vancomyacin, which was the antibiotic of choice for each round of chemo. Every round of chemo resulted in a staph infection, and I was running out of healthy ports to plug into. The main vein in my left arm had shriveled up and died due to staph. Another round of chemo saw the staph produce a fever of 108. That's when the vanco stopped working. Thankfully, that was my last round.

So, with the normal rounds of chemo behind me, the BMT doctors once again "pushed" for a BMT, while my normal doctor was unusually "silent" when I asked him for advice. (It turns out one of his colleagues was to be the BMT surgeon, which may account for his silence). My brother was an "exact" match, so I didn't feel too worried about the rejection of the donor marrow, but I still felt uneasy about the doctor's silence and the BMT surgeon's insistence.

I chose to "stay in remission", which was my state at the time.

I am still in remission, today.

This is a very personal decision to make. Throughout the chemo treatments, my attitude was rebellious and (perhaps over-) confident. When it came time for me to make my decision, I was feeling healthy, and the likelihood of my staying healthy seemed a much better percentage than surviving the BMT (80+% -vs- 60%), so I elected to avoid the hospital and enjoy my life.

Now I'm married, the father of a beautiful little girl, and perfectly happy with my decision.

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