As the title of this blog would suggest, Tom has unfortunately relapsed. Knowing how difficult the treatment, they offered palliative care or to go ahead and continue treatment. So, we asked if we could go home and gather our things so we could go to the Bahamas. KIDDING! We are sitting in our stately suite in Sutter General. Good news is, they've got the family room open again so we have access to a fridge/freezer, washer and dryer, and microwave... no stove anymore, but hey it's a step up.
Similar to his relapse after the first transplant, they're stopping all immune suppressing meds and doing chemo. Stopping the immune suppressing meds is to hopefully create some graft vs. host to pop up so that we can get a graft vs. leukemia effect. The chemo is to get him back into remission. If we can get him into remission and get a decent but manageable amount of gvhd, they will be pleased. Seemingly (as we've been told before), Tom just has a very resilient strain of leukemia. He must be stubborn to the core. Each treatment as the doc was explaining to me this morning, makes recovery harder and longer, and unfortunately chances slimmer. So, please keep Tom in your prayers that we can just get him into remission and get some graft vs. host/leukemia so that he can be cured.
Should that step one not work in terms of not seeing graft vs. host, they will do more chemo and do a donor leukocyte infusion (DLI). Tom had two of these following his relapse after the first transplant. The point of that is to more aggressively try to encourage gvhd. So that's plan A and B. I asked if there was a plan C of possible third transplant. Doc says that's a possibility but didn't seem too set on that and said that we just aren't going there for the time being.
Admission was yesterday afternoon and they put in a new PICC line (arm access with two lumens so they can run more than one thing at a time). They began chemo last night and usually he's sick within the first hour (knock on wood) but so far he is doing okay. As the doc had predicted, the chemo seems to be easing the spleen pain a little bit. So Tom may be one of the first people to ever find slight relief out of chemo... though now he's nauseas.
So that's that. :) Alyse and Clayton are going to be stopping by today so that will be nice. Marc and Eric will be coming by tomorrow so it seems we'll have some company to break things up a bit. Oliver has come up for the weekend as well to visit with his big brother. :) We are so thankful for all of the supportive texts, calls, messages on Facebook, and emails. It's extremely heartwarming and actually made me cry periodically yesterday as I read all of your wonderful notes of encouragement and support. We are truly blessed and lucky and to have such a great amount of support from our friends and family. Know that you all make a big difference in our days.