All change

In my recent post about the likely course of Isita’s treatment over the next month did I mention that the schedule could change? Well, it just did. To save you flicking back, I’ll recap. The basic outline was that during the first week of May, Isita would get a course of injections at home, so that the doctors could do a bone marrow stem cell harvest in the second week. The main tests to see how well the chemo had worked would happen in the third week, and based on the results, further treatment following three possible scenarios would begin at the end of the month. Now we have an entirely different plan. The tests will take place during the first and second weeks of May, with the MIBG (radioactive iodine) test to check on the metastases this coming Wednesday. The stem cell harvest has been postponed for at least a fortnight, because there are still traces of the adenovirus in her blood.

When you think about it, it is obvious. If they harvest the stem cells while the virus is still present, when they re-inject the cells after the high-dose chemotherapy, they will re-infect her at a time when she has no immune system. So, they must be certain the virus has completely cleared before taking that step. She is continuing with the anti-viral medication, and may even get another drug if necessary.

Everything has changed about because according to the previous schedule, plan B was to do the high-dose chemo before the surgery if the tumour were in an awkward place. Back in January, it was indeed lying close to an important blood vessel, where the surgeons would not want to operate. Until the virus has entirely gone, plan B isn’t available and if the tumour is still alongside the blood vessel plan A isn’t available either.

No need to panic though. Plan C of introducing a further course of regular dose chemotherapy is still there whatever the case. The virus will go and the tumour may even now be operable. We need to know what the situation is. Getting the test results sooner will make it much easier to take the correct decisions without introducing great delays.

We don’t know how long it will take to get rid of the virus, but with any luck, it is already on the way out. Right now, Isita seems in very good health. She is still feeling the effects of last week’s chemotherapy, so she is nauseous and has low appetite. But she doesn’t have any fever or upset stomach. She is much healthier than she was after the previous two cycles. 

They let her out of hospital on Saturday morning. We went home, and came down to Betchworth on Sunday with a quick detour to GOSH to get a G-CSF injection in her leg. She has been in heaven playing with her cousins, and with Jamie who was there for a couple of days.

Unfortunately on the way home, this time vus St Mary’s for another dreaded leg injection, she sicked up her nose tube. So they have to put a new one in, which is horrid. She is there now with Marta.

We have lots of outpatient appointments over the next fortnight, and probably one in-patient procedure – another bone marrow aspirate under general anaesthetic. We are praying that she stays well so that we can have a good long period at home.

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