Our doctor did give us the option to move straight to transplant. However, he did not recommend it. Doing transplant now would require heavier conditioning chemo which in Joe’s condition carries a much higher chance of organ damage or failure. Also, as we have learned the first go around, moving to transplant with any blasts present brings a higher chance of relapse. All that to say; we feel confident this is not the option for us.
What that means for us is more chemo. Joe got approved for the new drug (Mylotarg) I wrote about in my last post. However, because it is so recently available, the hospital cannot get it in immediately. Joe will actually be the first patient at Duke to receive this since it has been re-approved. (Mylotarg was used for years but they found the dosing was too toxic. They pulled it from the market and did research to find the appropriate amount to give.) In the meantime, Joe will receive another round of dacogen beginning Monday. Our hope is that Mylotarg will be available to him by November. Both of us and our doctor feel good going forward with this plan.
About 3 weeks after Joe is given Mylotarg they will do a repeat biopsy. Ideally he will be in complete remission and will move to transplant in December. If he has no improvement and is still at 2% blasts we will likely still move forward to transplant and pray HARD that there is no relapse. We don’t anticipate his cancer spreading since it has reacted well thus far. However, we do recognize there is a chance of that happening. If that is the case we will discontinue treatment all together.
Please continue to pray for us. As Joe was reading the other day he came across Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” This sums up so well what we need prayed over us as we go forward. This journey has been tremendously difficult. We are so ready to be together and begin our life again. We do feel hopeful about this treatment, but dang we’re tired.