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Another Perspective

Time Out: Chlorambucil

The only decision made on December 3rd was for me to stop taking Chlorambucil for a while. All indications from the blood tests are that it is working at bringing my CLL under control. However, my red blood cells are also decreasing. My hematologist/oncologist said it is unclear whether Chlorambucil is responsible for this or whether it is my bone marrow just not producing enough. While not yet quite anemic, he did not want me to lose any more than I already have.

By taking a break from the medication my body will have a good chance of changing course on its own and begin producing more red blood cells. Till then, I remain even more fatigued: now because my body isn’t getting enough oxygen due to the lower number of red blood cells. Now that it is almost two weeks out, this approach appears to be working. My latest blood tests show an increase in red blood cells.

After meeting with the doctor, I had a CT scan with dye. Before I could receive the scan’s results, my doctor left for a major hematology conference in New Orleans. Ten days or so passed before he called me with the results of the scan. My lymph nodes are now half the size they were when I began treatment. This is a significant indication of how well the Chlorambucil is working. This is terrific news.

Unexpectedly a tiny shadow was discerned in my upper right lung. The radiologist didn’t know what it was, if anything beyond being a shadow, so it will be watched carefully without any action being taken now. I have another CT scan in a few months and we’ll see if it is still present or has changed at that time.

In the meantime the treatment plan is to continue my taking a break from the chemotherapy until the first of the year. Then I’ll resume with the Chlorambucil.

To summarize: I am getting significantly better but am not yet back to the healthy range with my blood. The spot on the lung likely is nothing to be concerned about but it will be watched carefully to be sure.

Your prayers and good thoughts for me are clearly helping. Please keep them coming. I thank you for them.

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