Last Monday morning we got the call that the preliminary results showed Piper was in remission. For some reason, while I was thrilled, I found myself keeping it in. Numerous people called or texted or emailed and wanted to know the results but still I couldn't quite get myself to talk about it until we got the final report. When I still had not received a call contradicting the preliminary results from Dr. B the next day I was ready to believe it and begin spreading the news. So I did...I told the ladies in my Bible Study and my family. I even found myself telling the cashier at Publix, who was quite happy for me and my little bald blue eyed daughter. Maybe we finally had this beast under control?
It wasn't until Tuesday night that Dr. B called me and told me that Piper still has .16% MRD. (MRD stands for minimal residual disease and it represents the amount of leukemia found within her marrow). At relapse she had 67%, after the first round she had 2% and now she has .16%...not enough to declare her in remission although it is incredibly minuscule. Somehow I found myself again in a slump. I chose to not talk, explain and/or mull on the fact that the beast was still within her sweet little body. There were many tears and fears and they were very, very, very oppressive thoughts until we went to the clinic and finally sat down with Dr. B.
Basically, Dr. B is not overly concerned about the small amount found in her marrow. Piper. At this point they feel if they were to give Piper even more high dose chemo, instead of it conquering more leukemia it would actually cause her cancer to become resistant. This would be the worst thing possible.
And so the plan continues to be a transplant here in Atlanta at Egleston. Pipers treatment will consist of Total Body Radiation, higher doses of chemotherapy than she has ever had before and then finally when her body is as empty of her own cells as possible, the "perfect match" transplant (December 28). Between now and the transplant admission date (December 19) Piper will received lower doses of chemo every 10 days beginning last week. So far, apart from nausea, loss of appetite and some diarrhea, she is faring well.
Did I just write that? Is it warped that all the above still means "well"?
We will be home here in Athens for the next 4 weeks. Every ten days will be chemo in the clinic. And the transplant workup will begin on December 6th and 7th while they examine and test her little body to ensure it is strong enough to proceed. At this time we have no immediate concerns but the amount of chemotherapy she has already received is enormous and has the potential to damage so much.
I so do not care.
I will worry about that one another day.
Its just so nice being home with both girls and that husband of mine.
Now I am glad that I have filled you in on all the ugly but hopeful plans and I can start filling you in on the two year old I have who is beginning to walk alone and the six year old who is beginning to come up with some of the most (flashy, quirky) interesting outfits that are always worth a picture or two.