Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Mind Boggling....

Not alot to update... Eric still has very low counts and had a transfusion today to boost those red cells. We met with Dr H yesterday and there is really no clear answer as to why this graft appears to be failing. Just as there was no answer last fall. There are still some test results pending, but it's doubtful that any of them will provide significant new information.

The results from testing so far combined with Eric's history just provide a perplexing puzzle. And the treatment options are just as perplexing. This is not just new territory for us, it's new territory for our entire team and those with whom they consult. And it's serious territory to be in.

A couple of ideas -- because this 'syndrome' is behaving like aplastic anemia, there is consideration to treat for aplastic anemia. One option that carries less risk than a third transplant is to administer ATG. ATG targets T-lymphocytes—the cells that are responsible for destroying or suppressing stem cells. Eric had ATG prior to his first transplant and had few issues with it. Obviously, if there is a chance that ATG can provide some relief, it is a viable option while searching for a new donor.

Yes, there is also a search on for a new donor. There is a slight possibility that there is a critical incompatibility between Eric's cells and the donor cells but, in addition, in Canada a donor is only allowed to donate marrow twice. So if another transplant is to happen, it will be with a new donor. The thought of three transplants in a year is indeed, mind boggling.

Is there any good news? Eric is otherwise surprisingly healthy and all this testing has turned up no sign of Hodgkins or any other blood cancer. Whew. The fungal lung infection that posed a very serious risk last winter is gone. For any transplant to take place, Eric has to stay in the good health he currently maintains.

Finally, we need your help. Please please please join the bone marrow registry. If you have already joined (thank you!) or are unable to join yourself, please ask your friends and family to join. It is truly simple. For you it is only a cheek swab - for Eric and many others.... it's their life.

Thank you

1 comment:

Gail said...

Hi Kathy and Eric,

Sooo sorry to read of Eric's recent challenges. I hope and pray the aplastic anemia treatment is the answer. While a third transplant is certainly not your ideal, you certainly know the ropes and can do it again if you have to.
I am a registered donor and will reengage my recruitment efforts.

Keep the faith. Trust in God, one day at a time.