We finally have some answers after our pow wow with Dr. Asche today. They had all of the test results in, except her bone marrow biopsy. They did have the preliminary results. Everything looks good! There was no sign of cancer anywhere, except the spot on her breast. This is not breast cancer, but leukemia. Melanie really feels like it is a huge blessing that she got the lump, or she may not have had any signs that things were brewing otherwise. They will still wait for the pathology on the bone marrow, but the preliminary results look clear.
Dr. Asche made sure that we knew it was not a good thing that she was back, but it could be a lot worse. She is healthy and it appears to be localized. She mentioned that she doesn't like to throw out percentages and numbers as far as prognosis. We were all on board with that. Melanie can make her own percentage.
The battle plan is pretty much what we were expecting at this point. Melanie signed the papers to give them permission to treat. She will start her induction period tonight. This will be 5 days of chemo, given to her for 1 hour every day. After the five days, they will assess how she is handling the treatment. If she is doing well, she could possibly leave the hospital and do the next 9 days outpatient. She will have to stay in the Salt Lake area though (Greg's house). It is not fun to read the possible side effects of the chemo. The particular one they are giving her this week can do damage to the liver. She may even go a little yellow. Dr. Asche wanted us to have a good idea of what Mel is up against. She informed us that they actually had a patient die of liver failure while doing the chemo. Not that she is planning on that happening, but just wanted us to have a heads up. The chemo can cause mouth sores and swollen, sore hands and feet (which Melanie had last time). She will also lose her hair again. Needless to say, it could be a tough week.
After her chemo regimen, they will wait for her counts to be right, and then they will do another stem cell transplant. This should be in 4-6 weeks, if everything goes well. We need to specify that Melanie's original donor was awesome! He helped her so much, but Mel just needs a little tune up (as Dr. Asche put it). They may do some localized radiation in this process as well, but that is yet to be determined. Full body radiation like last time is out of the question!
Melanie is having such a positive attitude, which will go a long way. She believes there is a higher power at work here. She has amazing faith! The hardest thing for her is to have to leave Kaden home. He will be well taken care of by grandpa.
Melanie will be in room 806 this time. The nurses call it room 6 with a view. We will keep you updated on visitors at this time. She is allowed HEALTHY visitors, but we will see how she is feeling after all the chemo. Letters and notes are always welcome and would help her so much! You can send a letter to:
8th Avenue and C street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84143
East 8th - 806
Cami also noticed that if you go on the hospital website (ldshospital.com), you can email a message, which a volunteer will deliver to Melanie's room. Pretty cool!!
Thank you again for all your kind words and prayers. Melanie has a fight ahead, and needs all the prayers and words of encouragement she can get!
GO, FIGHT, WIN!!