The plan of attack going forward makes a lot of sense:
· Andrew’s bone marrow biopsy came back negative for the Philadelphia mutation. The doctors say that with the Philadelphia chromosome not being present Andrew may not need a stem cell transplant. Still too early to know for sure because we have to see how Andrew responds to the IV chemo.
· Since Thursday (1/18/18) Andrew has been taking oral chemo and steroids. These medications have really been effective. His white blood cell count has dropped from 424,000 (normal is <10,000) to about 1 as of yesterday morning. Again, this is a very good sign. His red blood cells and his platelets and many, many other tests are coming back strong. More good signs.
This past Tuesday, Andrew started with a spinal tap & direct chemotherapy treatment in his spinal cord. This is day one of what we are calling the 28-day war.
· For the next ~28 days Andrew will be undergoing very aggressive chemotherapy treatments. This is our aggressive attack on his cancer cells using IV chemotherapy. The intent here is to kill off all cancerous white blood cells, red blood cells, stem cells and everything and anything in his body related to cancer. The end goal of this attack is 100% complete remission.
· After we successfully achieve full remission, we enter into another phase whereby we want to maintain that full remission over time. Yes, this means more chemo, but perhaps we can get Andrew home during this ~9-week phase. Massachusetts General Hospital works right alongside the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. Andrew’s doctors are starting to arrange treatments for him at Karmanos so he can come home for a while. Nothing like mom’s homemade cookies, Belgian sausage and cheesy potatoes to help him feel better! We’ll see if/when we can swing getting him home.
· During that 9-week phase there will be some days where Andrew feels great and other days when Andrew feels very sick. We will play it day-to-day, keep asking God for His grace & blessings and thank Him for all we’ve already achieved.
· Should we successfully achieve 9 weeks of maintained remission, then we enter the next, more prolonged phase. This is when Andrew should be able to get back to work while still maintaining a rather less taxing chemo treatment schedule. Nothing 100% guaranteed but step by step.
·Andrew will be undergoing chemotherapy for the next 2.5 years. He will lose his hair. He will be physically and emotionally challenged by his cancer and the life-saving treatments he has ahead of him. It will not be easy.
Although his insurance will help him cover a lot of the medical expenses (estimated to be around 1 million dollars in cost), the co-pay over the next 2.5 years is nearly $25,000 out of pocket. Unfortunately, Andrew will not be able to work until further notice making it difficult to cover these costs. Please help us help Andrew during this difficult time. We appreciate all the love and support. Andrew is strong and he will get through this, but he won't be able to do it without the support of his family, friends and God. He will fight this fight, come out strong & beat this cancer.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
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