Monday, March 17, 2014

Current Standing

As you know, Ava completed her first round of AML chemotherapy last week. Although her blasts have decreased, they have lingered and really haven't decreased near what the doctors would like to see and consider to be a "successful response." At this point, they are considering the AML treatment a failure, though there's still a (small) possibility that the blasts could continue decreasing over the next several days. Continue to pray for Ava's healing.

The plan right now is to switch to ALL treatment when ready, though it is unclear how they will determine when is a good time to start the ALL treatment. They are still hoping/aiming to get Ava into remission with just chemotherapy and avoid any need for a bone marrow transplant (BMT). The doctor was surprised to see how great Ava looked today -- she was peppy, energetic and talkative! (She was quite chatty over the phone and sounded really happy!) This made the doctor optimistic for Ava, since many leukemia patients don't display this kind of energy/overall wellness with her numbers.

If chemotherapy alone is unsuccessful, then it'll be time to consider a BMT. Even for a BMT, the goal is get Ava into remission quickly to optimize the success of a BMT, so it's still important to get Ava into remission. Finding a match would be critical, and timing of how everything plays out will be equally important.

It was asked whether Ava's blasts could be from ALL, so therefore could it be that we just need the ALL treatment to eradicate those blasts? (This idea was similar to what was postulated before). Apparently, it's not quite that simple with Ava's type of leukemia. Patients who have "bilineage" leukemia have 2 types of blasts: ALL & AML. They would be expected to respond to both chemo regimens: AML chemo to eradicate the AML blasts, and ALL chemo to eradicate the ALL blasts. But Ava has "mixed lineage" leukemia, meaning that she has one type of blast that has both AML & ALL characteristics within. Therefore, it's not as easy to predict how she will respond to ALL treatment. If you recall, they tried ALL treatment first, and it didn't work then. We can only wait to see how she might respond this time.

So what if the ALL treatment doesn't work? Then it's all about buying time until a proper bone marrow match can be found so Ava can receive a BMT.

Prayer requests:

  1. Miraculous eradication of the blasts - (Ava's healing!) Please pray that the blasts would continue to decrease by leaps and bounds, and no BMT would be necessary; pray that Ava would be healed and go into permanent remission.
  2. Finding a perfect BMT - if it comes to needing a BMT, pray for amazing success in finding the perfect match for Ava. With this in mind, please pray for the bone marrow drives, that there will be huge turnout and many people joining the registry, and for God's grace in the timing of it all (the collection & processing of all the swab kits in relation to Ava's need for BMT). A search for a bone marrow match has already been initiated, and the medical team will also contact Taiwan, China & Korea to further seek matches.
Thank you so much for your unceasing prayers and intercession. God is good and we trust in Him. Thank you for your continued prayers for Ava and her family to persevere and be strengthened through all of this.

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