Thanks to everyone for your prayers yesterday. We had an eventful day, though most of the action involved driving to and from the hospital and not the actual procedure. Our tire went flat on the way up, but seemed to be o.k. after a stop at the gas station for air. It made it through the day and all the way home (120+ miles), though upon further inspection today we discovered it to be completely blown and shredded. We had a very rainy drive up, and at one point on the interstate the vehicle in front of us lost control and we immediately followed. Brandon was able to keep control of the vehicle for the most part and thankfully there were no cars in the lane next to us at the time. I'm very shaky about things like that. Even a minor fender bender can be fatal when your platelets are below 20. On the way home, driving slow on a very bad tire, we ended up putting the car in a ditch. Thanks to the Lord and some helpful friends and neighbors, everything is going well today.
Regarding the procedure, Daniel did about five hours of pheresis yesterday. They were able to give me 10 million lymphocytes (the goal was 5-7 million) so I call that a success. The procedure itself was quite simple. I had premeds (benadryl and ativan) and then they injected the 14 ccs of blood product into my Hickman line. Took about ten seconds. The doctor told us he wants to see significant GVHD. The important thing is to catch it early so they can treat it with medication so I don't have long term damage. If I don't have GVHD with this infusion, they will probably do another. He said it often takes 2 or 3 treatments before they see significant GVHD. I don't know if I have that long, so I'm honestly praying we'll see it with this round -- normally flares within about a week. Praying to get sick seems odd, but it would definitely be the answer we need. We met a 26 yo AML patient yesterday who is currently in remission after having a stem cell transplant and subsequent DLI. (He was similar to me in that everything looked good until the 100 day biopsy.) That was definitely encouraging.
I'll see Dr. Perry this Wednesday, and the plan is to begin chemo again on the 9th. If I don't have GVHD with this DLI, we'll do another about 10-14 days out from this next round of chemo. The cells are frozen now so I shouldn't have to ask my brother to go under the needle again, which is nice. He's definitely been a trooper. Those are some BIG needles.