Three weeks ago today we were told that my loverman’s leukemia is not responding to the first line CML treatment, Gleevec (Imatinib). Today was the follow-up. His blood counts are relatively stable, but his WBC is slightly over the normal range now and his platelets are still very high. Given the fact that we know the Gleevec is not working, his counts are not that alarming. However, the slowly climbing WBC concerns me.

The doctor explained that there is a 90% response rate to the first line treatment in most cases, so the fact that Kevin hasn’t responded is concerning. Not all of the DNA chromosome test results are back yet, so the doctors are not able for fully understand why Kevin’s leukemia is not responding to the first line treatment. There is also a possibility that there is a factor, such as a mutation, that makes Kevin’s specific type of CML resistant to any of the “tinib” treatments available. Nevertheless, it is absolutely necessary to try a second line treatment in hopes that it will do the trick. The second line treatment that the doctor has selected is Tasigna (Nilotinib). Now we just sit tight and wait for Ministry of Health approval and for the treatment to arrive by courier. Yes. By courier… don’t ask me why we just can’t get it from the pharmacy. It’s all a bizarre complicated game if you ask me.

Because this new treatment can seriously affect the heart, Kevin will be closely monitored and will need to have his blood tested every two weeks. As much as Kevin hates going so often, we can do that. In a way, it gives me a little more piece of mind.

Something else was discussed today. Something I never imagined would be mentioned at this stage of the cancer game, if ever.  Bone marrow/stem cell transplant. When Kevin was first diagnosed, I asked about a transplant and the doctor said it’s probably not something we would need to consider. Today we were told that we need to prepare for that. So Kevin’s brother is being tested ASAP to see if he is a match. If he is not a match, I guess we need to take it to the streets. But we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Hopefully we won’t have to even worry about it.

SO, this was our day today. I feel a little bit numb. If I feel numb, you can just imagine what loverman feels like. He had a little meltdown today, but we have both agreed that we will KEEP GOING and hope and believe that this new treatment will do the trick!

“KEEP GOING” is now what we see when we walk in the door of our home! – Thanks for stopping by!!

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