Craig began a second induction chemo a couple of days after our last post. He received 5 days of the drugs, including 2 kinds of chemo he had not been on before. We assumed it was going to be another month in the hospital just like the first round in November, but we were able to get home much sooner than we thought! Because Craig’s body is still relatively healthy (aside from the Cutis) and not full of rapidly-multiplying Leukemia cells (like when he was diagnosed), the treatment did not affect him as intensely as it did in November. He was discharged a few hours after his 5th day of treatment, granted he had no fever and would immediately return if he got one.
Gary came up from California the day after Craig got home. He will be staying with us for this induction and through the transplant that will most likely follow. We are so very lucky to have his support and company! It is so hard to leave Craig for work when he is feeling sick, but it eases my heart to know that he is spending time with and being cared for by his brother. Thank you Gary!
This week has been a busy one. Gary and Craig have been visiting doctors and clinics daily since Sunday. Craig had his day 14 bone marrow biopsy on Monday, along with a spinal tap. He has also had several blood and platelet transfusions, which is expected during this time. Last night his fever spiked above the 100.5-degree rule, and we marched him right to the OHSU emergency room. A re-admission to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit was inevitable, and although there is no immediate threat of an infection, keeping him here until his counts are renewed is the typical protocol. Craig is already getting antibiotics and anti-fungals to help him ward off whatever might be causing his fever. His counts should be back to normal in a week. He is not happy about being back in the slammer, but it is definitely better to be safe!
We got some good news, however, while we were getting checked in today. Results from the day 14 biopsy came in and the marrow is clear of Leukemia cells! Horray! This means that we were able to easily reach a second remission. It also means that we will be moving into a transplant ASAP. We have not spoken to the AML doctor or the transplant specialist since this news, but we already know that without a matching donor, we are looking at the riskier option of the mismatch or haplo transplant.
More info to come.
For now, we celebrate!!!
*******The City of Dana Point is sponsoring a Bone Marrow Drive in honor of Craig Brandmeier on Thursday June 11th from 12-8 at the Community Center on 34052 Del Obispo St. Dana Point, Ca.********