“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
Hey everyone, it’s transplant day +31! I have some VERY exciting news to share!
We have gotten the first test result back from Brandon’s bone marrow biopsy. The cell differential (i.e. the big picture) shows no obvious signs of leukemia!!!! WOOHOO!!! I’ve been doing the ‘normal bone marrow dance’ all day long! It is too early to say that the leukemia is completely gone, but this is an AMAZING start!
We are still waiting on the results of more sophisticated tests that will tell us if there are any genetically mutated cells or any small traces of leukemia. We should have those results back in a few days. Next week we will also know what percentage of Brandon’s bone marrow consists of his donor’s cells. We are praying for as close to 100% as possible!
The fevers have continued and so has the search to find the cause. Today we got back the results from Brandon’s MRI and everything was completely normal, no abscesses were found. The doctors have ordered more infectious disease tests and the results should be trickling in over the next week. Brandon also had a PET scan done today to look for more hints of infection (we should have the results back tomorrow). And on top of all that, Brandon was also seen by a rheumatologist so that they can start to investigate and rule out possible autoimmune disorders. It’s been busy around here!
Today we also got confirmation that Brandon does have a small degree (grade 1) of graft-verses-host disease (GVHD) in his GI tract. Don’t worry; it’s nothing to be too alarmed of. A small amount of GVHD isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it means that the new cells are capable of killing cancer cells, an effect called graft-verses-leukemia. The doctors are going to monitor Brandon’s symptoms a bit longer before they decided to treat the GVHD. This is because the treatment for GVHD is steroids, which would further suppress his immune system. Given all the fevers he has been experiencing, they are not comfortable with adding more immunosuppressants at this time.
Thank you all for your love and support! Despite all the difficulties over the last few weeks today is a day of huge celebration! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we anxiously await more results from Brandon’s bone marrow biopsy. I can’t wait to share more good news!