January 25, 2011


My brother
     He went through the first steps yesterday of getting enrolled in a clinical trial.  One subset of his white blood cells had been running low but they came up well enough to qualify him for the trial.  His hemoglobin, though, continues to give difficulties.  Right now, it's running at 8.7 g/dL which is the highest it's been in awhile.  The cutoff for the trial is 8.5 without getting a blood transfusion in the past two weeks.  He gets another blood collection next Wednesday and it has to be 8.5 or greater in order to start the treatment.  If it is, he'll start on Thursday.  If not, he'll get a transfusion (and a big one to bump him well above the cutoff level), wait two weeks, and cross our fingers that there are still spots available in the trial.  In the meantime, he's getting a PET, an EKG, and an echocardiogram to insure he's heart is healthy enough for the trial.  On his end, he's upping the iron supplements and eating red meat to try to squeak into that spot.  Once he's in the trial, though, he's ok to get blood transfusions.  So we just need that value to last 8 days.

My dad
     All that we know at this point is that he has CLL.  We're switching doctors to MD Anderson for multiple reasons.  That may delay getting his treatment rolling a week or two but it's definitely worth it in the long run.  Measure twice, cut once.  His first appointment is tomorrow where he'll start the fun-all-day process of navigating MDACC with blood work, another biopsy, imaging, etc.  Ostensibly, we'll meet with the doctor sometime tomorrow afternoon (translation 6 pm if previous experiences are any guide) and go from there.  As I've said before, we ain't there for their great customer service.

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