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Cynthia "Cinny" Astor
Nov 14, 2017
Welcome to Cinny's full recovery website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about her amazing success fighting the evil lymphoblasts in a leukemia that unexpectedly attacked her in March, 2011. Cinny is a true warrior and she is winning this fight as she successfully approaches the five and a half year milestone since her initial diagnoses! Thank you all for your continuing thoughts and prayers.
In March 2011, Cinny was suddenly diagnosed with an adult version of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (Adult ALL). She also has a complication in her leukemia known as the Philadelphia Chromosome. An aggressive 30-day inpatient chemotherapy cycle started on 1 April here at the Anschutes Center. That cycle ended 30 April and the bone marrow biopsy results showed that the Philadelphia Chromosome level in her blood was at 6% (which technically means that the leukemia was in initial remission - although more treatment was needed to keep it there and insure it cannot continue to reproduce). Cinny was out of the hospital until 17 May when she started a second 30 day treatment cycle comprised of inpatient and outpatient rotations; the first part of this cycle ended on 20 May and Cinny was out of the hospital until admission for the final 5 day inpatient treatment cycle which started on 17 June. She was released on 21 June. This ended the chemo treatment cycles to obtain cancer remission.
Bone marrow biopsy results taken during Cinny's second major inpatient cycle that ended May 20th showed at the chromosome level that there was no indication of the Philadelphia Chromosome. A bone marrow biopsy done on 22 June after the final remission chemo therapy also showed no trace of leukemia.
The next decision point was how to best go forward to actually maintain her cancer remission (with such options as a stem cell transplant or longterm chemo maintenance or some kind of hybrid approach). It was decided that the stem cell transplant gave Cinny the best chance for treatment survival and longevity. She rested up in the mountains for a month and then was admitted on 21 July for pre-transplant preparation. Her sister Cici (a perfect blood match and now known as Saint Cici!) was the donor and came to Denver to give up 559.36 million stem cells to the hospital. Cinny received 304 million of these cells in a transplant transfusion on 25 July (and the rest were frozen for future contingencies). Cinny recovered until 31 July when she was released into outpatient status. Before going home, she and Bear stayed in a hotel close to the hospital for 41 days (until 10 September) so she could easily get daily blood work and monitoring.
A bone marrow biopsy on 25 August showed no leukemia present and that Cici's stem cells were now driving 98% of Cinny's DNA (so engrafting was well underway!). A biopsy done on 13 Oct showed a very few cells with the Philadelphia chromosome and Cinny started on chemo pills to zap these intruders. Tests in December also showed that these few cells were still present. All other key blood cell counts were in the normal range so Cinny's bi-weekly testing & doctor consultation was transferred up here in the mountains to the Shaw Cancer Center outside of Vail. So, 2012 started with us able to stay up here in the mountains and not have to travel down to Denver for testing. Blood work done on 15 February still showed those very few Philadelphia cells still present. Wonderful news on 25 April 2012! Cinny's special real-time PCR blood test came back completely clear of the Philadelphia Chromosome and the leukemia! On 18 July Cinny had her 1 year transplant check-up and it showed that she was still completely clear of the leukemia! Tests done on 17 Oct 2013 also showed complete molecular remission of her cancer, as did tests done on 24 April 2014; and we are overjoyed with the blessing of this prolonged remission cycle. Cinny continues to be completely free of residual cancer and is now cancer free for 5 years since her transplant infusion!