Friday, April 19, 2002

We're outta here!

Hi Guys,

Kathy and I are leaving town tonight to go to Dallas to be around for the appearance of Massaviol child #2, or "Deuce", as she's called for now. I think we may find that nickname sticking for a while even after she has a real name. Anyway, we'll be incommunicado, as least e-mail-wise, until the 28th. So I won't be able to update you guys on antigens and matches until after that date.

I'm considering my options and my enthusiam for the marrow transplant waned considerably after Brian quoted a 20-25% mortality! I was surprized (no, make that shocked!) to hear that the procedure was so dangerous. I was of the impression that not only was it a less morbid procedure than that, but that it could effect a"cure." Turns out I was mistaken on both counts. Brian mentioned that he'd just lost a patient to a marrow transplant procedure and that of the two others he'd been telling me about who were apparently doing well, one is now showing signs of recurrance of the disease.

Well, hell!

The folks at M. D. Anderson make it sound like the mini-transplant procedure is not all that bad, and in fact are doing it even in their elderly patients. (See )
Amazingly, Dr. Khouri's phone number is available on the MDA web page, which is linked to this site. I think that if we're talking about transplants I may need to call him. They do 600 transplants a year, probably more than anyone else in the nation except maybe Sloan-Kettering.
But there are other options as well. As Doug said months ago, in somefolks the leukemia does not progress. Therefore one option is to do nothing. At least for now. I can always opt for therapy later if needed, but will, of course, be older and potentially more debilitated at that point.

Or I can opt for other therapy now. If I get some chemo of some sort now, it doesn't exclude the possibility of a BMT later (presuming I'm still healthy and my donor hasn't killed himself in a car wreck or something). The monoclonal antibody therapy (Rituxin), which selectively attacks and destroys leukemic cells sounds very interesting, but I haven't got much data on the morbidity/mortality of that option.

Anyway, I'll be considering these options and am scheduled to see Brian in about a month. As soon as I know results of the HLA types I'll get the data out to you guys. That's about all for now (unless I get to the computer with something else over lunch time).