There are two big events coming up in my diary, coincidentally both on or around the same day. One is the start of the World Cup – come on England! (odds are not looking good though) and the other date, more importantly, is Fabian’s T-Day – come on you chimeric antigen receptor T cells! (slightly longer odds at around one million to one). I jest, of course, as the figures are misleading. Those of you who recall my ‘one shall rout a thousand’ analogy last time, know that even a few million of these killer cells will destroy a billion or more leukaemic ones. In my last post, I mentioned Fabian having had another aspirate to check disease level. This turned out to be 25% lower than the previous reading (around 6 cells per thousand) so we are thankful he is still chemo sensitive. It’s not quite where we wanted to be as it represents a high MRD level but we’ll take any positives. He also continues to remain asymptomatic and in reasonable health although requiring regular platelet and Hb infusions. His last was 500ml and took 5 hours to infuse! Staring at the drip line for that long felt worse than watching paint dry. We’ve now begun the individually-tailored protocol leading up to T day; this has meant a number of baseline tests and starting an intense chemo cocktail designed to deplete his lymphocyte count to ‘make space’ for the modified cells. So it’s back to hospital later this week to stay up to, and for a short while after the big event. It’s almost a year to the day since Fabian’s transplant so it will be a bitter sweet anniversary to be back in isolation on Fox ward. By way of a send off, parents and pupils at his school had generously contributed to buy him a top of the range Lego kit, something that will give hours of pleasure to our master builder.
We’re probably facing the last stop in terms of treatment on this epic journey. There will be no further therapy trials offered if this one fails. One can only remain sanguine when reflecting on this, but the clinical facts can be downright depressing, if truth be told. Yet the biblical example of Job is a huge aspiration to us. On hearing the worst conceivable news, he never blamed God but instead, worshipped Him. Albeit he argued with Him later on and I have to confess to having had a few moans myself, but we do continue to lean on God and the support of others. Will update you all next week.