If it's Normal, Why Continue With Chemo?

Each time I visit my oncologist, I will be asked to have my blood tested. All people with CML have to do this regularly. What caused me to be referred to the oncologist in the first place was my high white cell count.

These blood tests are to monitor the disease and ensure that treatment is working effectively.

Art Glass from Monterey Bay Aquarium
photo taken by Elizabeth Munroz
My blood tests have returned to normal already as I mentioned in yesterday's post. I had a blood test in June which was normal.  It was not indicating the possibility of leukemia. August 24th the same test was done, a CBC, which made the doctor suspicious of Leukemia. In September the test was run again, and still it indicated the same.
That is when I was told I have leukemia. After that, the bone marrow biopsy was done and it verified that I have CML for sure.

Before I started the chemo pill, my blood test was run again. This time the white cells had quickly raised up to 51,000. Alarming to say the least.

I've been taking the chemo pill daily for a few weeks. Now I have what is called hematological response which shows how well the treatment is normalizing my white blood cell count. Complete hematologic response is normal white blood cell and platelet counts, no blasts in the peripheral blood, and less than 5% myelocytes and metamyelocytes in the blood.

It is now my understanding that a cytogenetic response is the next thing to be looked for to verify there is a response inside the bone marrow. But, I wont have that information until  I get my next bone marrow biopsy. I was told that would happen in about six months. Just because the blood looks normal doesn't mean it's normal deeper within.

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