"You know why you're here don't you." asked the doctor."
"Yes.... It's the Flt3." I replied.
We then talked about options in protocol. One option would be the autologous stem cell transplant. That involves using my own cells to regenerate my blood. The prognosis for that would be a 20% survival rate. The other option would be the allologous transplant. That is when the donor is from someone else, preferably a sibling. The chances of a sibling match is 1 in 4 so I have pretty good odds there. The average outcome from an allologous transplant would be a 40% survival rate. Considering that if I do nothing, the survival rate is 0%, then I don't have much choice.
If the leukemia doesn't kill me then the treatment might. There is a death rate of 15% just from the treatment.
The factors that I have going for me is that I am relatively young and tough. The survival rates are skewed by others who were not so young or as tough.
In about a week I will be admitted to the hospital in SF for a round of consolidation chemotherapy. I will be sent home after that for about a month and then the fun really starts. I will then be given a round of chemo that will erase my bone marrow completely. When it is a blank slate then that is when the transplant will take place. During the recovery time that will be from 3 to 6 months I will be extremely weak and vulnerable to infections. During that time we will need to live close to the hospital in SF. Billie and I will need to find a place to live. I hear there is a nice trailer park in Pacifica. I am not sure if they allow dogs though.
I have a coordinator that will help with all the arrangements. Her name is Lisa. She will be contacting all my siblings soon and sending them a kit that they can take to a local lab where they can be tested for compatibility.
Right now I fell pretty good and am enjoying life here at our house in Sacramento. This morning I put on my roady garb and I took my old steel Colnago out for a spin in the neighborhood. I had to be careful to not get going too fast and get lightheaded. I still have a very low red cell count so I have to be careful. No old ladies on mountain bikes were able to pass me.