Thursday, May 10, 2007

Round 3 and more results

These pictures taken a fews days ago, accurately depict how happy we are feeling around here. We just got back from round 3 of chemo and Kate did well. Her ANC (it's the blood count that indicates the body's ability to fight infection) is half of what is was last week and is low but that wasn't unexpected given the treatments. Her other blood counts have gone down but not by much.
We also received the results of the cytogenetic testing done in New Hampshire. Kate has hyperdiploidy. Translation...normal cells have 46 chromosomes and her leukemia cells have extra copies of certain chromosomes. About 27 percent of children with B-cell ALL, like Kate, have this type of genetic abnormality and it carries a favorable prognosis! Wow, twice in 2 days we are able to say that things are pointing to a favorable prognosis!
That being said, our doctor told us that we can't draw any conclusions until the end of her induction therapy 2 weeks from today. At that time they do another bone marrow aspiration, spinal tap and measure the residual leukemia. I was trying to draw the correlation between her rapid response to the chemo and the what the residual disease at the end will be but he said that studies have shown that there isn't a correlation. An easy way of explaining it is that just because most of the cancer cells died quickly doesn't mean that there aren't some tough ones left over. Those difficult cells that are left are the ones that cause all of the trouble and have to be killed. We will wait for that last test to determine how intensive the next 26 months of chemotherapy will be. Nothing will change the length of time that Kate will need to be treated only how intensive the course will need to be.
We are embracing this wonderful news and are celebrating by going to the beach for the weekend. (Don't worry, it has been doctor approved.) We just have to slather the sunscreen on Kate and have directions to the nearest children's hospital should we have any complications. Our doctor said that it is important for Kate to continue living her normal life and doing things that she enjoys. I think we'll all really enjoy this weekend!


emily said...

Enjoy your weekend at the beach...sounds like a much needed reprieve for your family!

Anonymous said...

Talked to Mary this morning and you can't believe how your good news made me feel! It started my day off with a huge dose of humility as to the goodness of our Heavenly Father--I have to agree with Angela--WAHOO!! You go Kate!

Aunt Carolyn

deb said...

I'm so happy for darling little Kate and your family Carolyn. You guys are in my thoughts so often. Stay positive !!

Love you

Amber said...

This is such great news. I am so glad. We will keep you in our prayers.

Amber and the Croxalls