The bone marrow is the best way to evaluate my kind of cancer because it is a cancer of the bone marrow. We do other (blood) tests that give us a general indication how we are doing. Those blood tests have been stable since my transplant one year ago. The reason we don’t do bone marrow tests every month or so is because they hurt like hell.
In my case, the blood tests told us that the cancer was still there. I would have to have been one of the really lucky people to have the cancer disappear after a stem cell transplant (complete or stringent remission).
I had asked you to pray that the percentage of my bone marrow being cancer as under 10%. The one (before my transplant) was 12%. The one 90 days after my transplant was 8-10%. If this one was 10% or higher, it would mean that I would have to change course in treatment. Another bone marrow transplant? Perhaps.
My test came back at “3.5-5%,” which is very good news. It means that I’m in good remission and I don’t need any other changes in my treatment, just continuing on my present chemo, which is working out well. This could change on a dime and I could get into trouble, but for now, it seems so stable that the oncologist is going to start seeing me every three months. It was weekly for a long time.
The cancer itself does not cause symptoms. I have a plethora of symptoms related to kidney failure and the mild side effects from the chemo. I keep praying that my kidneys will heal.
But thanks so much for your prayers. It would have been really bad news if the bone marrow results were worse.