Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Major Setback

Philippians 4:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

We have some bad news that we want to share with you. We are not devastated, because this, too, is in God’s plan. But we definitely are set back a bit and are relying on Him for strength.

For the past week, Tammy has been feeling fatigue, and it’s been getting stronger each day. She woke up yesterday feeling very weak, so she called the cancer clinic. They told her to come in and get some lab work done. The counts were very low, actually lower than when she was diagnosed with the precursor to Leukemia in the fall of 2008. They did a bone-marrow biopsy and we got the bad news this morning.

Tammy now has Acute Leukemia, which means that 30 percent of her blood is inhabited by Leukemia. Anything above 20 percent is considered Acute. There are still plenty of tests to do to see if her bone marrow is hers or the donor’s, because that will determine the treatment once her Leukemia is in remission again. The first treatment is to give her chemotherapy for a week to wipe out the Leukemia. This will drop her white counts to zero, just like three years ago. It will take approximately two weeks for the counts to recover to the point where she may be released from the hospital, though that could take longer. Her recovery will be less predictable than the first time. We’ll have to wait and see.

Once the Leukemia is in remission, they’ll try to figure out why it came back. If they determine that her bone marrow is hers, it means whatever caused the disease in the first place was knocked down with the chemo three years ago, but not knocked out. Depending on what they find, they could look at a booster dose of the donor’s cells, or find another donor. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, though the doctor we saw today said he favors finding another donor.

The chemotherapy treatment will be different from what she received three years ago. It’s more focused on the Acute Leukemia, and may kill the Mylodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) cells. The MDS cells were what she had before, which is what led to Leukemia.

There is not a lot of disease in her body. Even though she crossed the threshold of Acute Leukemia, it’s still not wide-spread. The goal now is to take care of it so they can determine the treatment that best fits.

Once again, we covet your prayers. If you remember three years ago, we were carried on a pillow of prayers, so our journey was one of comfort and grace. We ask you to take her to the Throne of God once again. As much as you love her, I love her even more. As much as I love her, God loves her infinitely more.


Tracy said...

Praying for you all.

Katy said...

Praying for you all! I can't imagine what you are going through once again. Praying, praying for you Tammy!

Larry said...

Thoughts and prayers are with Ll of you.

Laura said...

Praying for you Tammy and the rest of your family. This must be very difficult. You all have maintained such a positive attitude throughout everything. I also want to express my thanks for the encouragement and advice you have offered to me this year.