Monday, September 20, 2004

Umbilical cord stem cells??

Dr. S conversation with MN led them to believe if we don't do get a 7 out of 8 match on this other potential donor they'd prefer to try a cord blood transfusion for the marrow as opposed to another donor's marrow. Actually, the other donor has a good chance of being a 9 out of 10 match which would be optimal. Still, cord blood offers less risk and the match doesn't have to be as close. There is a better chance of engraftment and much less risk of Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) with cord blood stem cells. Dr. S has set up a consult for us at MN this Thursday so we’ll be driving up Wednesday and back on Thursday after the consult. Twelve hours each way. Dr. S wants us to fly, but prices were exorbitant. Oh, well!

At least we’re getting a good education in cancer research. We should have the labs back on the other donor this week. We’ll also have enough information on the cord blood to weigh the two and make a decision. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Of course, we may find one door or the other closed to us. Probably not, nothing is ever that easy.

In the meantime, we still have consolidation chemotherapy ahead of us here, probably next week. That looks to be Ara-C and VP-16 again.They like the way he's responded to it. They’re talking about Total Body Irradiation as a preparatory phase for the transplant, maybe with some chemo.
Post consolidation we’ll have to wait again for his counts to recover before we start the transplant.

It seems like we're always waiting. Except when we're not. Then we wish we were. I'd rather be doing something, though. It feels like you're fighting back when you're getting treatments.

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