On March 28th around 10pm we checked-in the hospital. It was a smooth process and we got into 1129 (11th floor) with a beautiful downtown view. The room was huge and nothing short of the experience in a good hotel.
We were expecting it to be quite night but they started with a series of tests right away. Blood, ECG, Xray, etc. They used the port to draw blood and the first time they put the needle in the port, it was very very painful for Rachana as the are around the port was still sore and the wound was new. But after the needle was in she did not feel any more pain while they were drawing blood. The tests were on till around 2 am.
Dr. Imaan visited us around 2 am and explained that they are repeating all tests. They have the results from North Hills but they will do all tests over again to make sure the results are what they see from previous reports. They know its B cell type, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia but they need to confirm it once again. He explained as this is a research facility, typically the tests they do are a little more wider and deeper than other places. We surely felt confident that we are in the best place possible. He explained that one of the things they will be looking for in the tests is Philadelphia Chromosome – if its positive they will probably go with a treatment plan called Hyper C Vac which sounded more like what Dr. Turner told us in North Hills, which is 4 days of chemo as in-patient followed by 3 weeks of rest within one cycle. But if its a negative chromosome then they will go with a more aggressive plan of 4 weeks of treatment as in-patient; and they expect to remove the cancer at the end of 4 weeks followed by a year of drugs and tests as a out-patient. This was wonderful news for us – looked like there is a possibility of Rachana being treated and sent home cancer free in 4 weeks. But the down side was the facility’s policy to restrict access to kids 12 yrs and younger. Rachana cried and felt very sad that she might not be able to see the kids for 4 weeks. They had to give her some anxiety pills to calm her down. Its was difficult. The room does have a large TV and video conference facility so we will be able to Skype and Facetime with the kids but she already longs to hold them.
The doctor also explained that their will be side effects including damage to ovaries and complications if we want to have more kids – which is not a issue for us. They also explained that this disease does not have stages but risk levels. In a day we should know her risk level and if she is at high risk, they might opt to do a Bone Marrow Transplant. Its seems siblings are typically looked at as the first source for bone marrow transplant before they look for other sources.
So the next day or two are going to determine what the next year looks like. Rachana feeling good, and generally healthy, she is confident that we are in the best place possible and will beat this quickly. The only thing she is anxious and upset about is not seeing the kids!
Its a new day 🙂