Dec 18, 2013 - 5:00 pm
It's sort of a "mixed bag". On Monday I had the bone marrow harvest where they drill into the hip bone to suck out the stem cells. Yes...it hurt! The good news is that we now have enough stem cells to proceed for the transplant. The last hurdle was the CT and PET scans which I had yesterday and today. I met with my oncologist shortly after noon and we have decided to postpone the transplant again for 2 months. He said there are two small lesions (one near the liver and one behind the stomach) that have shown an increase in activity. It's a very minor increase in activity however transplants work best when the cancer is either non-existent or declining in activity. He said we could proceed with the transplant but past experience shows there's a 70% chance of the cancer returning within 3 months.
The plan is for me to start taking a drug called "Revlimid". It is not chemo. It is a pill--so no hospital stays! It has proven to be effective against the genetic markers of my specific cancer. It does three things: fights the cancer itself, reduces the blood supply to the cancer, encourages my body to fight the cancer. It is less toxic than chemo so some of my restrictions have been/will be lifted (ie: travel). He said I might even feel generally better.
I'll take this drug for the next 8 weeks and then we will do the PET scan again. If it's clear...they will move me into the transplant. So while it wasn't what we hoped to hear today...we are very very close to becoming ready for transplant. This is the last hurdle.
Merry Christmas everyone!