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The Next Step: No More Skunk

Hey everyone a quick medical update today as I’ve just come from seeing my Ottawa Doc, who along with the Ottawa Transplant Coordinator have made a trip down to the Rock to see some of their Patient’s. I wasn’t expecting big changes from today’s visit but it did provide a clear picture of our approach for the next several months.

The first thing we are doing is stopping my immune-suppressant drug called Cyclosporin, which smells like skunk. And we are stopping the drug immediately, as opposed to a gradual decline which we started earlier this week. By stopping cold turkey, which is unusual, we are hoping to create as my Doc said “an intolerance”. That “intolerance” is another way to refer to Graft vs. Host Disease, which I have explained to you a little. The next step in our process, hopefully, is for me to get an “intolerance” of my Dad’s stem cells in my body. We’ll call it a necessary evil, as there are medical complications that result as well as medical benefits of having my Dad’s stem cells attack any remaining Leukemia in my blood, if there is any.

Ideal scenario is that dropping Cyclosporin will result in our desired “intolerance”. The plan is that I’ll begin to develop Graft vs. Host that is manageable and responsive to steroid treatment, as my original GVH was from my first Transplant. As we progress with actions that are designed to initiate GVH the risks involved increase, but that is part of the game we are playing. I took risks by having a second Transplant, and there will be further risks involved with various elements of my treatment. A part of being a Cancer Patient is that you are placed in situations that may require great risk… and that risk will hopefully result in great reward.

Two main reasons for the quick stop of my skunky pills is that I’m feeling so well and that my blood counts are great. Today’s levels are right back up where they have been after a drop last week – Hemoglobin 113, Platelets 149 and White Cells 7.3. So we are looking good. I may feel a little “crappy” over the next number of days as my body gets adjusted and I’ll keep you posted on whether or not the desired rash develops. Rash is the common first sign of GVH.

All else is great, have a great weekend and I’ll be back soon.


Live Life. Love Life.


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