Saturday, 22 March 2014

News Breaking Week

I've been meaning to update earlier this week, but procrastinated until now, which worked out well as the issues I wanted to blog about have pretty much come full circle within this week itself.

On Mon (17/3) we went for Min Ser's regular check up and was informed that based on the previous bone marrow result done 13th Feb, there may be a 0.1% blast cells/cancer cells. The result was from a flow cytometry test, which can detect the smallest denominator of 0.1%. A microscope can only detect blast cells at 1% or more.

It could be a residue or a possibility of relapse. His cyclosporine medication was immediately cut from 100mg to 50mg to allow the donor's stem cells to be more aggressive. It seems in most cases with such a minuscule percentage the body's own immune system would purge the foreign cell. At that point nothing could be certain until another bone marrow test was done on Wed.

On Wed (19/3) a routine bone marrow sample was done, and we were told to come back on 31st March for the results. The hospital will run another flow cytometry test, and if it the result is clear (ie: no weird cells) then most likely the previous test had detected something else or a residue. As the time lapse between two bone marrow tests would be about a month, there would be a clear indication if there was some form of relapse. So there was nothing much we could do but wait for the results.

Friday (21/3). Min Ser received a surprise call from the hospital. They rushed the test and the results were clear (negative). No detection of any blast cells! Such a relief. As there Min Ser is now in the clear again, and nothing alarming was detected. The next appointment is pushed to April.

So many things to be thankful for! A clear result the second round, Ampang Hospital taking the initiative to get the results of the bone marrow test so quickly (it really save us two weeks of uncertainty) and lastly, the reminder that life is truly fragile and to savour it.

Just yesterday, Min Ser wrote an article to some of our local newspapers, thanking the medical profession especially the good people at Ampang Hospital. Without even indicating that they would use his article, the malay mail immediately uploaded his article to their online site. You can read the article here.

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