Friday, December 16, 2016

Storm's a Brewin'

Ed and I met with Dr. Gouw a member of our team of doctors at LDS hospital today, where we received the news that the tests revealed that I don't have the TP53 gene, which makes my leukemia treatment more difficult. Whether I have BPLL or CLL is less critical than the absence of this gene. Here is a quote from the National Institutes of Health:

The TP53 gene provides instructions for making a protein called tumor protein p53. This protein acts as a tumor suppressor, which means that it regulates cell division by keeping cells from growing and dividing too fast or in an uncontrolled way.

They are recommending I go through a treatment with Ibrutinib (pill) and Rituxan (intravenous). Neither one is chemo and wouldn't have severe side effects.

However, as soon as the drugs get me into remission I will be scheduled for a bone marrow transplant. I'm happy to have 6 siblings, because each of my siblings has a 25% chance of being a successful donor.  (They can donate blood, rather than bone marrow, which is not as invasive.) The transplant would be at least a month in the hospital. It would be difficult and doesn't have any guarantees, but Ed and I can do hard things! We're waiting for a confirmation from the doctor at Huntsman Cancer Institute before we start treatment.

We drove home from the hospital in a snowstorm, apt for our mood! 

The good news is that I feel good and have the okay to wait till January to start treatment. We're looking forward to enjoying Christmas with the family before I go back into treatment.


  1. Yeah, I have a 25% chance! Hope I'm a winner:)

  2. You are fearless in that you will face this head on. There are lots of prayers coming your way from Broomfield. We love you. I am so glad that you will be able to be home for Christmas. And that you feel good enough to enjoy it. You will have so much fun with Mable.