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This is the 4th time I've returned to UAMS in Little Rock to run tests to determine if I'm a good candidate to have a stem cell transplant. The transplant is as easy as having my stored stem cells put back in me through an IV line and as hard as waiting to see if my body accepts them and it reduces my disease in long term. With God's grace, I am having a stem cell transplant this time. The unknown infection that was thought to partly cause the chaos with cancer markers has nearly disappeared. No explanation by medical staff here and in Hays.
10/2016- Well here I go again.
At my regular checkup in early October of 2016, I found out that one of my tests showed I had some type of "infection" and my cancer markers had become elevated at the same time. My doctor wasn't sure if the "infection" was the cause of my markers becoming elevated. He wanted to run more tests and recommended I return to Little Rock. Up until that point, my disease was under control as far as I was concerned. I was doing my weekly labs or treatments and the cancer markers remained stable. Unfortunately, in mid July my Little Rock doctor decided that I should be taking a new drug that could improve my disease in the long run. I wasn't in favor of changing medications since my condition was stable but he and his research nurse specializes in these things and they talked me into it. For about two months I took the new medication and my cancer markers stayed the same until I started feeling sick in mid September. The local oncology clinic noticed an "infection" on one of my lab results first and they tried antibiotics. Initially that helped in the short-term but once I stopped the antibiotics the "infection" returned. They notified my Little Rock doctor's nurse and she said Little Rock will monitor my situation via weekly lab tests (Little Rock doctor was unavailable until the first week in October) until I return the first week in October. *The "infection" I was told could be anything or it could be an inflammation of something in my chest or gut.
2/2008 to 2/2014- Welcome. Well, my story goes...I became very ill in late 2007 and after numerous appointments and tests I was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow cancer in February 2008. I underwent several cycles of chemotherapy and a couple of stem cell transplants that brought my disease initially into partial remission. Since then, I've been undergoing a protocol that has brought my cancer into complete remission.
I first came to UAMS-Little Rock back in April 2008 for an evaluation and have returned several times to continue treatment that has shown very good results. I've completed five rounds of chemo, two rounds of consolidation, two stem cell transplants (my own stem cells), two years of maintenance, and will complete my third year of maintenance by October 2012. My return visits for the second maintenance year were every four months and beginning my third maintenance year they have been every six months. My cancer markers continue to show no cancer (0.00) and I'm considered a low risk patient based on chromosome and other testing. I'm in "complete remission," but need to work harder to keep it that way with my diet, weight, and ATTITUDE. Andy P.