Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A Day At a Time

While Eric's blood counts are low, they seem to have stabilized. He hasn't needed blood products for over a week and we are cautiously optimistic that the graft is holding.

The next step is to understand what is left of the Hodge. The last couple of CT scans do show 2 nodes that have increased in size since last summer. While the increase is in terms of millimeters, we do need to be vigilant and determine what's up with these nodes now. They are not easily accessible for a biopsy and no one is keen on surgery while Eric's platelets are low. He will have a gallium scan (PET scans are approved for Hodgkins in Ontario but not in the BMT context - huh???) on Friday that may give us more insight. Basically, it's important to determine if there is still any Hodgkins hanging around while the disease burden is low.

If Dr F (Eric's hematologist) and Dr H decide that this is probably the Hodge, they will try to 'turn up the volume' on the graft and continue to monitor the nodes. The hope is that the donor's immune system will see the cancerous cells as foreign and kill them off.

It sounds easy doesn't it?

An allo transplant comes with a host of complications to be managed. For instance we know that Eric has had a fungal infection in his lungs and liver (fungus in either of these organs is fatal to many). It's under control and close to being gone. But until it is totally resolved, using steroids or reducing immunosuppressants to push this graft is extremely risky. So we wait and monitor. We have faith that Eric's body is strong and the graft is holding. We work with our doctors and ask never-ending questions. Our doctors continue to puzzle Eric's medical mysteries and work with doctors in BMT clinics around the world.

And today is a good day.


Veronica said...

A day at a time sounds like a plan........hopefully soon you can take it a week at a time, then a month at a time.......but for now we'll stick to the plan.

Poor Eric - he must (as must you) be desperate to draw a line under this whole long, drawn out episode. I sincerely hope the Galium scan shows up no surprises and that the bumpy path starts to smooth out very our thoughts as always.......Vx

Adrienne said...

I'm sure you're frustrated but allo transplants are so much more complicated than autos, but you knew that already. Hopefully things will settle down soon into a routine. Hugs, Alison (Adrienne's mom)

Duane said...

Today is a good day. I'm always inspired by your optimism and resolve.

Thinking of you and Eric. Sending love to you both. ;)