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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 5 - Results are in but incomplete

I'm sorry to keep everyone waiting. We waited for the doctor until it was apparent he wouldn't be coming until late this afternoon. Knowing that we had another day without the therapy beginning, Courtney wanted to take advantage of the day to see the kids again. So I went and got Kylie and Miranda out of school early (didn't have to twist any arms there) and picked up Emma and Aidan too. Just as we returned to the hospital, Courtney's sister, Kelley, arrived. We had a really nice afternoon letting the kids visit with Court again and hanging out with Aunt Kelley and Courtney's parents.

Finally, Dr. Jordan arrived sometime around 5:00. While we did get more answers, the diagnosis is not complete. However, the news we did get is relatively good. AML was once again confirmed by the pathology report. And, according to the phenotyping and genetic markers found thus far, Dr. Jordan said that they believe they've narrowed the AML type down to two of the possible eight FAB (French-American-British classification) subtypes: M0 and M3. He said that if he could choose any two of the eight to have, meaning the two with the best prognosis, it would be these two. M0 and M3 have significantly different treatment plans. So, until the diagnosis is 100% (hopefully sometime tomorrow) there will be no treatment. He did reassure us that this delay, so to speak, does not affect prognosis. Another bit of good news.

He did recommend starting her on an "unconventional" form of treatment tonight. There she goes again beating the odds. The medication/chemotherapy he suggested starting tonight is called Gleevec. It's typically used to treat Chronic Myologenous Leukemia (hers is Acute) and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). The reason being is that Courtney's results contained a marker common to those. He's not sure why. He did say that the Gleevec has relatively minor side affects but could help lower her blast counts (that would be a good thing). So, we followed his advice. Unfortunately, as I was putting the kids to bed, I couldn't be here when she took it. But it sounds like it was not a pleasant experience. She had to dissolve the pills into a liquid (she chose apple juice) and drink it. She was still feeling nauseous from it when I returned. If anyone reading this has ever had to take Gleevec this way, and knows something better to use than apple juice, advice would be welcomed.

We still can't get over the outpouring of love and support from our family and friends. It truly has been tremendous. We only wish we could accept every generous offer. However, if we accepted every offer to watch and care for our children, we would be 80 by the time we saw them again. So we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and we truly love you.


Julie said...

still praying!! And praise for the "good" news...if we are calling it that.
Julie in VA

Anonymous said...

I indirectly know a person that is taking Gleevec from a blog that I read. Here it is
She is also a young mother.
Praying for healing!

robinandamelia said...

Al the best to you!! My brother in law is taking Gleevec for a GIST. He takes it in pill form and just swallows it. It's a 400mg dose, once a day. Minimal side effects so far (he's been on it about a month). It's a miracle drug. Hope it does some good.

Danyella said...

We will continue to pray and think of you often. Please let us know if there is something we can do. Miss your sweet smiles at church.


Emily R said...

yay for the 'good' news! hope the drs can answer all the questions today. we are praying for you!

Katy said...

Of course she'll beat the odds! She has countless guardian angels to help!

Amy said...

I am sure I am not the only one(out in blogland) that agrees that yesterday was a long day waiting to hear your results. I am so thankful that you received some relatively good news. Hugs to you girl! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Vicki said...

Although there is nothing good about what you're going through, from what I've read this is good news. In reading about AML they use the word cure which is encouraging. You are young and strong too which is good. I sent your email to a friend who sent it on to her relatives and friends from church. By now, prayers must be coming from all over the world. Glad that you got to see the kids yesterday. They are the best medicine. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Vicki and Ron

Susan said...

Courtney has always been unique... For example, she some how got the skinny genes in the family (the amount of junk food she could eat growing up and still remain a size 0 was ridiculous! Seriously.). I have no doubt in my mind that she will remain one in a million and knock the heck out of AML.

I can't wait to see you, Courtney! Hang tough and ban Kelley from the room as many times as necessary :) I kid, I kid...

Love you and thinking of you every minute of every day.

Leisha said...

Our prayers continue to stay with you! The Mareth Family

~Tori~ said...

Courtney & Todd
You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I do not get to see the girls, But everytime Aiden comes to the CAC I give him lots of hugs and attention (as always, I simply adore him). I am amazed at the strength and love your family shares at such a trying time. Thanks for the updates.

KELLEY said...

I am here with Courtney now and so glad!!! Seriously....she looks better than the rest of us in the room. :) And I do think I am the first person banned from the room for a period of time -- so you know Courtney is feeling ok if she can kick my butt out if the room. She is strong. She is ready. She will kick this thing....starting today! Keep those prayers and love coming!

Liz Johnson said...

I am Jared and Becky Hall's niece... and just wanted to say that you guys are in my prayers. There are lots of people out there praying for you!

SPJ said...

We're thinking of you and praying for your family. We were shocked and saddened to hear the news. We totally understand "the never think it'll happen to you" comment and the LONG hospital waits! Keep your chin up!

The Terry Johnston Family in VA


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