Alex's   Place

Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Tuesday September 18, 2001

Hi Everyone,

The roller coaster continues. Our doctor called today and said they saw some abnormal cells in the spinal tap, possibly Leukemic. Alex will begin interthecal (spinal) chemotherapy on Thursday and it will continue once a week for six weeks. The good thing about interthecal chemotherapy is that there are few side effects. They'll also do another spinal tap on Thursday to confirm that the abnormal cells are indeed present.

Alex will also have a PIC line inserted into her arm on Thursday, so she won't have to have a new IV inserted for each radiation and chemotherapy treatment. With any luck we'll be able to take it out after the radiation treatments are over, although it's possible they might want to keep it in there until the interthecal chemo is complete.

I'll try to send another message/update the page as soon as we have more information. Thanks again for your love and support.

Love,

Todd, Andrea and Alex


Monday September 17, 2001

Hi Everyone,

Well there is some goods news today. Alex's bone marrow aspirate and spinal tap both came back clean (no Leukemia blasts). This means that for the moment the Leukemia is only present in the tumor in Alex's lacrimal gland. Alex also had a blood draw today and her counts continue to be excellent.

We have our first appointment (orientation) with the Radiation Therapist at University of Washington Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon. More than likely Alex will begin localized radiation therapy next Monday and it will continue for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. With any luck it will take care of the tumor in her lacrimal gland and negate the need for any further treatment.

I'll try to update Alex's page with some new photos over the next few days and I'll also keep you posted on the radiation treatments. Thanks again for your love and support.

Love,

Todd, Andrea and Alex


Friday September 14, 2001

Hi Everyone,

In a week of bad news, I hate to be the bearer of more. Alex has had problems with her right eye swelling over the past couple of months. At first we thought it was a sty, but it didn't go away. She had a CT scan on Wednesday which showed that her lacrimal (tear) gland was swollen. A biopsy was performed on Thursday and I'm sorry to say that the results are not good.

All of the tests are not completed yet, but it appears that Alex has a Leukemic tumor in her lacrimal gland. She will have a bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap on Monday to make sure it has not spread. Her counts are excellent, so hopefully that is the case.

If the tumor has not spread Alex will be given localized radiation treatments directly to the area. The side effects of this treatment are usually minimal and hopefully it will destroy the tumor. The radiation treatment will be given outpatient at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle five days/week for the next 2 1/2 to 3 weeks.

If the Leukemia has once again returned to her bone marrow and/or spinal fluid Alex will be given Mylotarg and begin preparation for a second transplant at Duke.

I'll send another message to the list when we receive the results of the bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap on Monday. Thanks again to everyone for all your love and support these past three years.

Love,

Todd, Andrea and Alex

 

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