Meredith’s Story

Site created on May 2, 2020

Welcome to our CaringBridge website.  Meredith was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on April 29th.  We are using this website to keep family and friends updated in one place.  We know many of our friends and family have questions and want to understand Meredith's new challenge as she progresses.  We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Frankie Harris

This morning Meredith was scheduled to have her port removed.  The belief was that this was the likely source of the bacterial infection.  I was told this was a fairly quick surgery, so I started to become a little concerned when we passed the hour mark.  Finally, I was called to meet the surgeon.  She said that the port was definitely infected, especially so in the area near her clavicle where the line ran.  She described it as "pretty nasty," and it took them more time to irrigate it and clean it up.  She had two stitches in that area, which they normally do not do.  They were leaving it slightly open so that the infection could escape to the surface.  So this was definitely the right decision to have it removed.  The doctor said that antibiotics would have never killed it all off.

When Meredith woke up, she seemed largely unaffected by the surgery and didn't complain about pain.  

This afternoon she worked with the physical therapist and the psychologist.  

Early this evening, one of our main oncologists, Dr Jackson, came in to go over the next steps.  As of right now the plan is that she will remain in the hospital and have surgery next Tuesday.  This would be the first day of her "consolidation" phase of treatment.  She would receive a spinal tap, chemo and most likely will get a picc line in her arm.  The reason for the picc line would be so that she can go home.   From the first day of negative results for infection, she has to remain on intravenous antibiotics for 14 days, which would mean at least well into mid-June.  The next 30 days would be daily chemo pills and another 2 spinals on day 8 and 15 of that treatment (basically the next 3 Tuesdays total).  There would be no steroids for now.

After this, we will get a far more detailed study of her blood cells (we misunderstood this part) and at that point she might be a candidate for the immunotherapy study.

In a way, its a good thing if she doesn't qualify, because that would mean out of millions of cells examined, none would be cancerous.  If they find even a single cancerous cell at this point, she would qualify but statistically would have a greater chance of relapse down the road, which is the biggest concern with leukemia.
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