Friday, 29 January 2010

Round 2 Results Day!

Yesterday I got the results for my second round of chemo. Same deal as before, they analyse the bone marrow extracts taken on Monday using two methods - (1) under the microscope ('morphological') and (2) using a computer which scans for dyed antibodies that cling to leukemic cells ('flow cytology'). The microscope is a rough estimation and the flow cytology is much more accurate.

In summary - it looks like really good news!!:

At the end of the last round, my results were 2% for the morphological results which is classed as a remission but my flow cytology result was 1% which meant that 1 in 100 cells in my bone marrow still showed signs of leukemia.

This time, I am still in morphological remission but happily I am also now classed as negative for minimum residual disease (MRD) on the flow cytology result. I am still trying to understand exactly what this means as MRD is a relatively new concept. The doctors explained yesterday that this meant they could not find any cancer cells with an accuracy of 1 in 10,000 bone marrow blood cells.

At the most optimistic end of the spectrum, I could interpret this to mean that using the most sensitive tests available at the hospital they could not detect any cancer left in me! That is a lovely sentence to write.....

But ... I am also trying to remain cautious as there haven't been enough tests to understand how MRD directly impacts probability of relapse and therefore I am still as always, very scared of a relapse after my treatment finishes....

But with my glass half full, I regard this as another step forward and another test successfully passed so am v happy today!

I am still due to go back in to hospital on Monday, although this may slip to later in the week if a bed isn't available. The doctors re-iterated that this round may be a lot tougher than the previous rounds due to the new drugs and intensity so am feeling a little nervous! Hoping all will be fine! Fight, fight, fight!!!


Anonymous said...

BRILL! This has to be good news. Katex

Nixta said...

That's truly marvellous, old chips!

I'm really happy. REALLY happy.

Hope to catch you on Skype very very soon.

Keep on posting these posts!

Anonymous said...


Your blog is great but then I didn't expect anything less. Really, really pleased things are progressing in the right direction and hope they continue to do so. Have been thinking about you alot and hoping we'll get out for a beer at some point soon!!!

Take care of yourself.


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