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Father with AML (M4), first round of chemo didn't work

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

My 59 year-old father was diagnosed with AML (M4)on April 9th. He was started the following week on his first 7-day round of chemotherapy, and a bone marrow test last week showed there were still leukemic cells. So, instead of getting to go home and rest for two weeks, he was kept in the hospital and started immediately on a second 5-day round of treatment with stronger chemo. He will have his bone marrow tested again in 10 days or so, at which time the doctors say they can either send him to have a transplant (if his cells are clean), or.....? I don't really know what they will do if the test comes back that he's not in remission.

Does anyone have any advice or information for me? I live across the country and was there for a week and a half and will be going back just before his second test, but I'd like information in the mean time and it's not easy to get in touch with his doctors. My family who is there with him is pretty busy with his care and their own lives, so we aren't talking all the time and I just don't have a clear understanding of what this all really means. Thank you in advance.

Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2009

I'm not an expert, but my wife is going through chemo treatments for ALL. Fortunately her first round put her in remission, thank God. But from talking with lots of people in the same situation, if it doesn't get put in remission the first time, as you know now they will do another round. If that doesn't work, they will do another. I don't know for sure but a bone marrow transplant or cell transplant can still be done even if not in remission. Hopefully he has siblings that will be a match, even if he doesn't, the amount of people in the donor pool is astounding. I will keep you in our prayers, as well as your Dad. May God be with you. It is hard to have to stay in the hospital, but it is were he can get the best care. It is a long road ahead, so stick it out and stay positive. And for traveling across the country to be with him is showing a great deal of love for him, and that is very important for his recovery. Andy

MZerangue's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2008

I was diagnosed in Sept 06 and It took a month after my initial 5 day treatment to go into remission. I continued to take 6 treatments over the next 10 months to stay in remission and so far I have not had a stem cell transplant, which was my next step should I come out of remission- I am pretty much ok as long as I stay in remission - have tons of faith and stay positive - It took a couple of weeks for my bone marrow to catch up with ny labs - I was 18% blast cells, then went up to 21% before I came down to 2%

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2009

My father is also 59 and diagnosed with aml on may 28th. he went thru the 7 days straight chemo and the bone marrow test. The doctors told us it didnt get as much of the leukemia as they would have hoped. He went thru 5 days of stronger chemo and his cancer is now in remission. He is in the process of finding a match for a bone marrow transplant, but he is still getting chemo treatment 5 days a week, during that he has to be in the hospital and then home for 3 weeks and this process will go on until they find a match. But it is stronger chemo and it is basicly wiping out his immune system, so he will be very suseptable to colds and any bacteria in the air.My dad gets very high fevers.That puts him back in the hospital. Your dad will probably have to go thru the same process. The doctors told us a bone marrow transplant is his best option bcuz of his age he is still young enuf to fight but if the cancer comes back later in his life he may not be strong enuf to fight it again. It sounds like we have alot in common.. if you have any more questions please, just ask or e-mail me anytime at jenthomason_7118@hotmail.com

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2009

My dad just completed his first round of chemo Thursday. We will know how much of leukemia they got out in 10 days I think. My sister and I would love to talk you we have a lot of questions.

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