Gunner’s oncologist, Dr. Wells (pictured above) gave us some pretty good news. They were able to determine through examination of a leukemia cell that a 12 chromosome transposed with a 21 chromosome creating one “bad” cell that multiplied causing his leukemia. The leukemia cells took up all the space in his bone marrow leaving little room for the healthy red blood cells. This is known as T(12/21) chromosome translocation TEL/AML1 gene rearrangement. This discovery gives a good strong prognostic finding. And there is already a treatment plan with effective meds to fight this specific type and mutation of leukemia. With this final piece of information, the doctor was able to confirm… We have a 94% CURE rate based on his results.
It was reassuring but scary to learn his illness wasn’t caused by heredity, his environment, or exposure to chemicals in his everyday life. It was simply a fluke. One bad cell caused Gunner’s leukemia. This finding from the tests doesn’t mean the road will be easy by any means. But the silver lining is there are many documented cases just like Gunner’s. They have a standard protocol and plan in place that works quite well.
Right now we are focused on his first 29 days of treatment. The induction phase is the same for every leukemia diagnosis. On day 8, we went back to Austin for a lumbar puncture to deliver more chemo to his spine. The doctor received results the following day from the spinal fluid showing no leukemia was present. This was fabulous news because he won’t need radioactive treatment to his spine and brain. At this time, we were also told there was minimal leukemia present in his peripheral blood. This was another bit of good news showing the chemo meds were doing their job destroying the leukemia cells.
The remaining days of the induction phase of his treatment will include a visit to Austin every Monday for an additional dose of chemo(Vincristine) in addition to the Dexamethasone pills he takes twice a day.
Day 29 is our next HUGE milestone.
Day 29 is July 14. We will take Gunner to Austin for another bone marrow aspiration. While Gunner is sedated, they will go in through a spot on his lower back into his hip bone to remove bone marrow. We are praying the results show the leukemia is completely gone. This is the best possible result and what is expected from all of the chemo he has received the prior 29 days. If the leukemia is gone he will proceed as a low risk patient. If the leukemia isn’t gone than he will be considered high risk and will need a more aggressive plan. I haven’t considered this option. I have faith the medicine and plan in place will heal our son.
Please join me in prayer as we approach Day 29!
If you feel lead to help with Gunner’s medical and travel expenses click here to donate to the #TeamGunner GoFundMe page. We appreciate your love, prayers, and support as Gunner battles to kick leukemia’s butt!