Thanks to all for the kind words and prayers of support... they mean a great deal to all of us. We are back at Children's Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) with really crappy developments. Becca again has leukemia. Her original diagnosis in 2008 was with A.L.L. This time around it is the wicked stepsister called A.M.L., rather than a relapse. In fact, her treatment of ALL is what caused this AML. Needless to say, we are devastated by this news and even more terrified this time because we have some idea of what to expect.
The treatment protocol is quite different for this type of leukemia. We are prepped for extended inpatient stays for the next several months while the docs administer very aggressive rounds of chemo. Following the treatments, we wait for her immunity, blood counts, etc. to drop to zero and continue to wait for them to come back up. Once her "counts" are stable, they give us a handful of days off to go home, then we go back in and repeat until her tests results indicate remission. Remission is not our final goal, however. Remission more or less is just an indicator that she is ready for a bone marrow transplant.
Though this setting is no stranger to us, this different treatment protocol is all new for our family, and we are learning more every hour. Today, Becca is going to the O.R. for several fun procedures including a lumbar puncture, chemo into her spine, bone marrow aspiration, central line placement in her chest....but wait...there is more...if we act now, we also get a broncoscopy with lavage, which features a flexible scope down her trachea that looks around and then flushes her lungs with saline and vacuums it back in order to get a secretion sample.
With regard to the bone marrow transplant, many people have volunteered to be donors. In Becca's case, the docs will only test parents and siblings. If no match is found then they go the national bone marrow registry, www.bethematch.com . I am told that they are likely not accepting new caucasian donors, but they might have some drives going on in which they would.
Hoxworth Blood Center, however, is very much in need of blood and we would encourage anyone able to donate to please do so. Kids like Becca get blood and platelets frequently, and I know Hoxworth's stock is currently low.
Everyone has been asking what they can do, which we truly appreciate. While we have trouble accepting help from others, we realize that we will need so much more assistance this time around. Honestly, right now, we are not even sure what we need. We are trying to make sense of all of this and to take it one (or two) steps at a time. After the bone marrow aspiration today, we will have a better idea.
Some items that will definitely help us out in the short term would be lots of "bribes" for Becca. She is having truly awful things done to her, and she is much bigger, smarter, and more vocal this time around, so any tiny rays of hope would be helpful. These are some of the things she likes:
- Tiana (princess from the Princess and the Frog)
- Polly Pockets
- Littlest Pet Shop
- Arts and crafts kits/projects (especially those requiring peeling and sticking of foam tiles, mosaic-like projects)
- Fingernail stuff...stickers, pens, polish, polish sausage