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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Sunday February 10, 2002

Hi Everyone,

Watching TV with WoodyI'm writing this update past midnight from Alex's hospital room. Things are going as best as can be expected. Alex appears to have responded well to the Mylotarg. Her leukemia blast count is currently 56 which is good when you consider she was at 13,600 before the Mylotarg. On Monday Alex will get her 2nd dose of Mylotarg which we're hoping will knock out the leukemia completely.

Alex continues to have low grade fevers, so she has been put on a precautionary infusion of amphotericin, an anti-fungal drug nicknamed "amphoterrible" because of its side effects. Alex had the shake and bakes (chills and fever) the first night she was on it, was fine the second night then was in a lot of pain on the third night. The good news is that Demerol takes the edge off of amphoterrible. The bad news is that she has to remain on amphotericin until her counts come back up which could be weeks, especially since we're hitting her with another dose of Mylotarg on Monday. We're also unsure if they will let us administer amphotericin at home, so there's a good chance we're stuck here until her counts come back up.

Alex will also have a third RSV test on Monday to determine if she is still RSV positive. We won't know the results for five days. Until she is RSV negative she has to remain in isolation which is really hard on her. She also asks to go home at least 5 times a day which is really hard on the two of us, since we really don't know when we'll be able to take her home.

Lastly Alex will have a bone marrow aspirate on Monday to determine how well the Mylotarg is working. She'll also have a spinal tap to see if there are any leukemia cells in her CNS (Central Nervous System). If there are leukemia cells in the CNS, she'll have to start IT chemotherapy which is really not that big of a deal, as there are few side effects.

Things are still slow on the housing front, but we're going to drop the price $15,000 and hope for a quick sale. If we're unable to sell the house, I'm going to have to commute back and forth between North Carolina and Washington until the house is sold. At least I'll rack up some frequent flyer miles.

Well Alex is zonked out on Demerol, so I'm going to take advantage of the quiet and get some sleep myself.

Thanks again to all of you for over three years of love, support and prayers.


Love,

Todd, Andrea and Alex


 

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