We met with Dr. Connelly again today--her oncologist on the team of doctors that are treating her. He has tentatively diagnosed Izzy with T-cell Leukemia. The switch to Leukemia from Lymphoma came today after some blood work and signs that much of her bone marrow could be involved in the cancer. Izzy will be going through roughly 7 tests over the next two days to confirm that diagnosis and determine the stage of the cancer. So at the 30,000 foot level, we are working to nail down her type of cancer in the next few days and then start treatment by the end of this week. Dr. Connelly again confirmed that her type of cancer is one of the more common types they treat and has cure rates in the 80th percentile. She was admitted to the hospital today to get her ready for tests during which she will be under general anesthesia.
We also got some general treatment information today. She will be receiving chemotherapy through a central line--a catheter in one of the large veins in her chest that they will be putting in tomorrow. The chemotherapy will involve both in-patient and out-patient treatments. For the in-patient treatments, she will be in the hospital 3 to 4 days after chemo to monitor how her body reacts and then released. The treatments will be through the central line and several spinal taps.
One of the short-term effects of the chemotherapy will be loss of hair. I'll be shaving my head in her honor once that starts, and we'll be sure to post bald picks as I'm sure you'll want to see my and Izzy's dashing looks with no hair. She may also suffer from some fatigue and nausea in the short-term. There are two possible long-term effects: a weakened heart and infertility. Dr. Connely says that modern treatments rarely cause the heart damage, but that there is still a good chance of infertility when she grows up.
One of the main things that we all wanted to know was where we should take her to be treated. Kerri and I both are feeling really good about the decision to have her treated here at the University of Michigan. We have heard great things about the Mott Children's Hospital here from current patients and knowledgeable outsiders. The Mott Children's Hospital is part of the Children's Oncology Group that is a national organization to which many of the best hospitals belong and participate in. This means that she will be receiving the same treatment as if she were at St. Jude's as it is a member of the COG. Another important reason for choosing Michigan is that during Izzy's treatment, she and we will need a great support network; and we feel that we have that and more here. We also feel that we don't want to totally upend her world by moving her to a hotel room somewhere to attend another hospital.
Please feel our love and gratitude for all of the support.
4 years ago