Looking Forward

No clinic for bloods today so a full day working from home. I'll prolly go on Friday to have my dressing change on the hole where my line was.

One of the things my consultant discussed with me was the plan for the next couple of months and the options for my stem cell transplant.

Quite soon I'll be going in for the second half of my chemo treatment. I'm guessing the recovery period will be similar so it will be about two or three weeks after the chemo that my counts will have recovered for the next cycle.

So by the end of May I will have completed one cycle of HyperCVAD, the A part and the B part.

The plan is then to do another complete cycle so that would be cycle 2 parts A and B completed by end of July.

At that point I'll have a CT scan and we will review the progress. The plan is for me to be well in remission by this point so I can then go for the donor stem cell transplant.

For the transplant I will have what is known as a conditioning therapy. The purpose of this is to kill off any remaining dodgy mantle cells and knock back my immune system so that it doesn't attack the donor stem cells and kill off my own bone marrow.

There are two methods for this Full intensity and reduced intensity. Full Intensity involves the use of Total Body Irradiation (TBI) which does exactly what it says on the tin. It's an intensive series of radio therapy sessions to irradiate your whole body.

Reduced intensity conditioning therapy uses three chemo drugs to do a similar job the the TBI but is usually better with people who have had a very good response to the initial Chemo.

My consultant said they are hoping to be able to do reduced intensity conditioning with me. TBI has greater risks and the recovery is longer but it can work better. There are also some long term risks of developing other cancers years later as a result of the irradiation.

This is something I will have to have detailed discussions with my consultant about nearer the time.

You can read more about the conditioning therapy here , and more about HyperCVAD here.

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