I have cancer, more specifically Pre-B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Philadelphia Positive. Leukemia is a rare disease which affects 2 out of every 100,000 people. The average person’s lifetime chance of getting (ALL) is less than 1 in 750 compared to dying in a car crash, 1 in 114.
I have a chromosome abnormality, it occurs in 25% of (ALL) patients. A piece of chromosome 9 and 22 break off and trade places. The new chromosome is called the Philadelphia Chromosome (Ph+).
The Ph+ mutation puts me in the very high-risk category which is associated with the poorest prognosis of all Leukemia.
The only cure for Ph+ (ALL) is to get a transplant. To get a transplant you must be fit enough to go through the process, get a matching donor and be totally free of cancer cells. I passed the fit tests and have a partial match unrelated donor that my doctors are confident with. I was scheduled for a transplant on September 15th. Unfortunately, my last bone marrow biopsy before the transplant showed a small percentage of Leukemia, less than 2%.
Luckily, there is a new drug available to me as an alternative to chemotherapy. I am about the 20th person to be treated with the medicine at OU. I am currently on day 5 of a 9-night stay while being treated. I will go home with the medicine and will be infused 24 hours a day for 19 days. Hopefully, after I complete this cycle, I will be in complete remission. After CR is confirmed with a bone marrow biopsy, we will schedule a Bone Marrow Transplant soon after.
My oncologist initially gave me a 60% chance of living another 5 years. I don’t know what challenges are ahead with this lousy disease, but I do know that I will never, ever, give up the fight against Leuk.
LOSING IS NOT AN OPTION.