Archive for the ‘ Bone Marrow Biopsies ’ Category

It’s back :(

I have been getting blood work once a month. Everything has looked good until the blood that was drawn on March 7th. I got the news on Friday the 9th, which was 16% bad cells. I had a bone marrow biopsy on Monday the 12th, and got those results on Friday the 16th.

Recurring AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), 61% leukemic cells in the bone marrow. This is almost double the number of leukemic cells in my bone marrow in October 2013 when first diagnosed. I have an appointment with my doctor Wednesday the 21st to discuss options. Most likely we will begin with chemo ASAP.

My options are now limited due to my declining health and GVH (Graft vs Host disease). I have had a lot of pain, bloating, swelling, fractures, and other issues over the last year. My GoFundMe story gives a good overview.

I’ll be updating the blog more with everything that’s going on.

Bone Marrow Biopsy #7 / CBC / Platelets

White blood cells: 0.8

Hemoglobin: 7.0

Platelets: 27

ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count): Not checked if white blood cells are less than 1.0.


I received 1 unit of platelets.


Now for the good news…I went from having 35% bad cells to 2.5%. I am clear for transplant with anything less than 5%. This was the best news we had in a long time, I am back in remission after 1 round of chemo :)

The plan is to do one more round of chemo (same drugs I had for round 3, I did just fine with them!), another biopsy afterward, and transplant within one month of that biopsy (if the results are good). Prior to getting this next round of chemo, we really want my counts to come up more so I can get this dental work done. We’re looking at probably mid-May for transplant. More waiting…

Bone Marrow Biopsy #6

Due to my counts crashing, another biopsy was done to determine whether I had leukemic cells again, or my bone marrow was just getting destroyed. My medical staff and I had a bad feeling, and we were right…

35% leukemic cells (results were given to me January 21)

This has been the most devastating news that I’ve had so far. When first diagnosed, I had a good prognosis, however my awesome super stubborn cancer has been resistant to treatment. It was difficult to get me into remission, though I remained there for about a year. As soon as we stopped the chemo, it was right back, even stronger than the 24% leukemic cells I had at first diagnosis. Technically now I have refractory AML with relapse, which is known to be resistant to treatment (more chemo).

Transplant cannot be done until we get me back into remission. To be considered in remission, I must have 5% or less leukemic cells. Now the hope is that next week’s chemo kicks the crap out of my stupid leukemia so that I can get this transplant. Hopefully I can get some dental work done between the two.

Chemo (round 8) scheduled for Monday through Friday January 26-30, along with platelets & CBC’s M, W, F. So much for spending January preparing for transplant.

Bone Marrow Biopsy #5

Biopsy #5

Results: 0.3% blast of leukemic cells.

Done as outpatient at Immanuel Medical Center after completing 1st round of outpatient/consolidation chemotherapy (4th round in total).


Still in remission, which was good. However, it was recommended that I have 4 rounds of consolidation chemo. That’s a total of 7 rounds of chemo – 3 inpatient to get into remission, and 4 outpatient to target any “bad cells that may be hiding”. Because AML tends to come back fast and strong, the doctors wasted no time in getting the next round of chemo started.

Unfortunately, this was my last biopsy. I won’t be getting another one until I recover from the 7th round of chemo, which I received the week of October 20. Until this point, I’d had a biopsy between each round of chemo to determine if I was still in remission.  I’ve had 3 rounds of chemo since this biopsy with no real idea where things are. Doctors at Immanuel Medical Center and UNMC do not seem concerned as long as I am still continuing chemo. However, they are concerned that my chemo must be spread apart so far because it’s taking my body longer to recover, giving the disease more of a chance to return.

Bone Marrow Biopsy #4

Biopsy #4

Results: 0% blast of leukemic cells.

Done as outpatient at Immanuel Medical Center after completing third round of inpatient/induction chemotherapy.


My first 2 biopsies took about 8 days to get the results back. As of February 10, I still had not heard anything on this one. I got these results the week of February 10 after leaving a message for the doctor. It was around this time that I began to sense a lack of urgency.

The good news was that I was finally considered to be in remission with anything less than a 5% blast.

Bone Marrow Biopsy #3

Biopsy #3

Results: 14% blast of leukemic cells.

Done as inpatient at Immanuel Medical Center after completing second round of chemotherapy.


In short, round 2 of chemo did nothing. I was really hoping to go home after recovering from the second round of chemo. Instead, I prepared to have my third round, this time with the much harsher chemo drug Fludarabine.

By this time, I had lost the majority of my hair. My husband and I had planned to shave it down once it got thin enough, and it was time. My hair just felt like some wisps of straw. What we thought would be a fun and relieving experience was extremely depressing. This was a particularly bad day to begin with, and not one that we should have chosen to shave all but a thin frame around my face.


Bone Marrow Biopsy #2

Biopsy #2

Results: 12% blast of leukemic cells.

Done as inpatient at Immanuel Medical Center after completing first round of chemotherapy.

This time, the biopsy was done by Radiology. I was positioned on my stomach (difficult with bloating & discomfort of C Diff), and moved into the center of a circular machine. This machine assisted the doctor in determining the correct area to target. I was given Fentanyl and Versed as soon as I got positioned, and woke up in my hospital room afterward. I had no bad side effects from the drugs, and only a slight discomfort at the biopsy site – a HUGE improvement over how my first biopsy was done. I will only have a biopsy done this way now.


We were hoping that the first round of chemo would take care of all leukemic cells. Doctors confirmed that some patients require a second round of chemo, and scheduled round 2 of chemo to begin November 18.



Bone Marrow Biopsy #1

Biopsy #1

Results: 26% blast of leukemic cells.

Done as inpatient at Immanuel Medical Center.