After our meeting last Friday with Gil's doctor at Karmanos, we were prepared for a bone marrow transplant as soon as the insurance approval could be obtained.
Well, the insurance approval was obtained within 24 hours of the request but something happened in the meantime that was not expected.
Although he remained in remission, his Karmanos team felt it would be best for Gil to undergo consolidation therapy prior to the bone marrow transplant.
"Consolidation therapy is an added treatment given to a patient even after the cancer is in remission. It usually includes chemotherapy drugs not used during induction treatment."
His Karmanos physicians think his leukemic AML-cells need to be hit with a round of a chemo drug that is not part of the transplant chemo regimen. They think that giving this consolidation drug therapy will improve his chances for a successful transplant outcome.
In Gil's case, the added treatment is with Cytarabine (Ara-C) and he got his first of six doses to be delivered every other day this afternoon at Beaumont. He'll be treated as an inpatient for the next five days. Then he is to come back home and "recover" until the team at Karmanos judges he is ready for transplant.
We don't know at this point in time how he'll be feeling at the end of this five day therapy. Will he be feeling sick? What will his energy level be? How will his body handle the immunosuppression issues that will result? How soon can he have the transplant?
These answers are forthcoming.
Gil drove himself in to the hospital this morning and was admitted to his "old" unit on 8 South. All the nurses and staff remembered and welcomed him. I'm sure he had very mixed feelings about being back. He's closer to getting the definitive treatment that can lead to a cure.
There are still may hurdles to come.
Marika and I came in later today and spent the afternoon and evening with him. He was still feeling good when I left him early this evening. His attitude has been very positive these days.
Depending on the events that unfold over the next week, I'll put up more than our weekly post on Fridays. Stay tuned.