Monday, January 31, 2005

Adrienne's Relapse

We were shocked last week to get confirmation that Adrienne's Hodgkin's Disease has returned. This is her fourth occurence since 1996, following an autologous bone marrow transplant and an allogenic bone marrow transplant.

It has been suggested (by a very few) that we discontinue treatment with the concern being Adrienne's quality of life. However, she won't hear of it. At 17, she is old enough to understand the treatments and the possible side effects, and she should be able to make the decision for herself. As long as her disease responds (and it always has) and the treatment isn't too awful, we should do what we can. She said she would do whatever experimental treatments are available (as she's done already) because, even if they don't help her, she hopes that it will help others in the future.

Adrienne wants to start chemo right away. When she relapsed last time, she had gemcitabine and vinorelbine for just 2 cycles and went back into remission. We're going to try the same combo again. The side effects are minimal and she won't even lose her hair with it. We are also considering doing donor lymphocyte infusions from her brother Daniel, her BMT donor. That means we'll probably wind up in Seattle for awhile where Adrienne had her second transplant.

Yesterday, Adrienne said that cancer isn't all bad, thinking about all of the amazing people we've met through this experience. Adrienne and I (mom) do Team In Training (walk team) and we've made many friends there who are very supportive. If you're under 18, you can train with a parent so we decided to join together. TNT helped Adrienne get healthy again after her second transplant and we just love it. We're not sure how involved we'll be for the next few months, but we'll try.