From beginning to end...Daniel donating.
I'm sitting in one of the treatment rooms at Siteman Cancer Center, getting a unit of platelets and some fluids before they bring up the frozen cells in a little while. The view from this room is similar to the one I had while undergoing transplant, so it brings back a lot of memories. Last November they were finishing up the apartment building across the way and I spent many hours watching men on scaffolds several stories high doing the window trim and other little things to complete the building. Now when I look out I see patio furniture on the balconies, and various sized curtains on each window, reminders of time passed, reminders that I am still alive.
We came into today with a lot of concerns due to the trend my recent labs have taken. The doctor did a good job of calming our fears. Our continued prayer is that the chemo will continue to keep things in check (that the blast count will drop) and that this final large infusion of leukocytes will overcome the leukemia in my body. For now the plan is to continue with chemo again next month and as long as it proves effective, and I will also have a bone marrow biopsy/aspiration in a month. Not sure yet if we'll do that here at Siteman or locally at Ellis. I am tired of being a guinea pig at the teaching hospital, so the decision will be based primarily on who would be doing it at Ellis. I feel I've contributed enough to student education and I would just prefer to have someone who knows what they're doing and is proficient at it as I face the needles once again. The tenderness in my lower back (ichial crest to be specific) is constant, and I don't even care for pressure on the locations, so having it attacked once again is hard to accept. I know it is just the evil part of having leukemia. The doctor mentioned a few new drugs that may be an option for me if/when the Decitabine quits working. One is being used as a clinical trial here at Siteman, which I would qualify for. At this point the drug options I have left are all considered experimental so it can be a challenge to get insurance coverage for them. I am very thankful to Dr. Medlin and the Ellis social worker who managed to get Decitabine approved for me, as the out of pocket cost is over $20,000 per month. I realize insurance can make or break your survival, and so far our company has been exceptional, for which I am very thankful. I view it as another of the Lord's provisions on our behalf. We are not ruling out the possibility of a second transplant with my sister as donor, but that is definitely the worst case scenario.
As always, we ask that you pray that the DLI will do its job targeting the leukemic cells and not my body. Thank you for your continued prayer and support.