Update About Brandon’s Treatment (11/30/16)

Happy (almost) December! I hope everyone is having a great start to their holiday season. I just wanted to update everyone about Brandon’s treatment.

Brandon started his new leukemia treatment about 2 weeks ago. Brandon is currently being treated with a combination of IV chemotherapy (Vidaza) and an oral leukemia medication called Venclexta. Brandon was admitted to the hospital on the 15th to start the Venclexta and to finish his week of chemotherapy.

Everything went well with starting the new medication, however Brandon developed an infection while in the hospital. This extended our hospital stay a bit, since Brandon was closely monitored and started on IV antibiotics. Thankfully, the fevers went away quickly and we were able to go home just in time for Thanksgiving!

Since Brandon’s immune system is virtually non-existent due to his treatment, he was sent home on a few IV medications (antibiotic and antifungal) that I have been administering from home. He has been recovering slowly but he is doing very well! It’s been so wonderful to be back in the comfort of our home. We are back to visiting the hospital on an outpatient basis 3 times a week for blood work and blood transfusions as needed.

Today we met with Brandon’s leukemia doctor to discuss the next steps. Brandon’s doctor is very happy with the initial results from this new treatment. Within the first week of starting Venclexta there was a drastic decrease in the number of cancer cells in Brandon’s blood. Since he still has leukemia cells circulating in his blood we know he is not yet in remission, but we are hopeful that things will continue to move in the right direction. Unfortunately, oral medications tend to work slowly so it will be some time before we know this treatment’s full effect. After a month of this treatment Brandon will likely be getting a bone marrow biopsy to evaluate the status of his leukemia. It will likely take a few cycles (28 day periods) of treatment to see any major results.

Right now its just watch and wait, which is honestly the most stressful part of this experience. We are hoping and praying that this treatment will be effective in getting Brandon back into remission and onto a second stem cell transplant. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue with our journey.

Thank you all for your love and support. We have so much to be thankful for, especially during this Christmas season. I will continue to keep everyone updated with Brandon’s treatment.

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