Monday, January 9, 2012

Much News: Almost all of it Good on the CLL Front

At the beach and connecting by a tethered Iphone which is a whole other story.

In the midst of the sad visit to a long time patient getting compassionate hospice care, and in the process of digesting the loss of Dr. Hamblin, surely one of the kindest and brightest lights in the world of CLL, and in the aftermath of responding to a scare about a long time friend's daughter's cancer reoccurring, I got a bunch of good news.

The finding on my bone marrow are subtle, and the report is preliminary, but it is not bad. The CLL is now about 10% of the marrow, up from 3% only nine months ago, but it is not racing out of control. I take this news as neutral.

The health and cellularity of the marrow itself may be better than the last sample suggested when the report said my marrow had been damaged. There is some contradictory findings that I need Dr. Kipps to help me understand before I declare this a victory. Dr. Kipps may demand a recount.

The flow cytometry shows my clone is CD20 dim which means that ofatumumab (the other drug used with PCI-32765 in the OSU trial) may have some real therapeutic effect and all my infusions of rituximab have been cleared away. No CD20 positivity on my B cells might have given Dr. Byrd some pause as to my acceptability to a trial that relies heavily on an anti-CD20 antibody to clear the blood of the leukemia cells once they are flushed from the nodes by PCI-32765. I see this as one more obstacle removed on the road to Ohio.

FISH is still pending and has taken on a surprising new importance that I will explain in a follow-up post. (Hint: My 11q deletion may not be real).

My gastroenterologist called me to say that all 15 biopsies of my stomach and duodenum showed no metaplasia, no abnormal lymphocytes, and no H- Pylori. No hidden lymphoma or leukemic infiltrates. Another worry crossed of my list.

No wonder my tummy hurt that night. 15 biopsies!

And...... (drum roll, please)

My case manager at Blue Shield says that my consult with Dr. Byrd has been approved. Ohio State needs to call her and work out the details, but it's a go. Thank you, thank you.

So Columbus, here I come.

But wait, there's more!

A dear friend offered to take Patty and me to Italy next year for a month to stay at his rented villa. All expenses paid!

And my friend's daughter's imaging came back negative. No new cancer.

And finally my daughter and her boyfriend in Chicago are committed to switching to a plant based diet. And his employer is supporting it!

Sometimes we get an embarrassment of good fortune.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 10, 2012 at 8:07 AM  
Anonymous jcleri said...

WOW......Thank you LORD!

January 10, 2012 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you are getting some good news. Hope you get amazing results from the trial.
Tom B

January 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Lorna K said...

So pleased for you.
Lorna K

February 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM  
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