Mission accomplished. Jon successfully picked up the box this morning, dropped it off at CHEO - the vials were filled with Phoebe's blood and as far as we know they were sent off to their destination in the States for further testing. As for Phoebe, she had a very busy day today. CHEO arranged for her to have her bone marrow aspiration and lumbar puncture with intrathecal chemo, which I know meant late night phone calls and emails between doctors in addition to reorganizing their already busy schedule and squeezing her in between procedures. We appreciate all of their hard and extra work. Both procedures went well. Her lumbar puncture showed that her central nervous system is free of Leukemia. This is important as when she was initially diagnosed, the disease was also there. Her bone marrow on the other hand, is full of Leukemia cells. Our doctor told us that 80% of the cells are blasts, or leukemia cells, leaving 20% healthy cells. This news, considering how long it has been since her relapse and the aggressive nature of her disease, was expected but still not easy to hear. However, the fact that she does have a significant amount of disease in her bone marrow means that she is eligible for the trial so in a strange and unfortunate way it is good news. The treatment and goal of remission is also still the same, regardless of the number of blast cells.
Now all of the obstacles that were within our control - making sure the box was picked up and that the blood got to its destination, having the bone marrow test done on time, and reorganizing schedules to make sure that other tests can be completed, have all been overcome. The one major obstacle that still remains is Phoebe's white blood cell count. Today it climbed to 43. It has to stay under 50 for her to remain eligible for the trial. She is having it tested again tomorrow morning and those results will be what Sick Kids bases her eligibility on. After tomorrow if it is below 50 it won't be tested again, she will be enrolled in the study and will start treatment on Monday. The hope is that the mild chemotherapy will continue to keep it under control - and that tomorrow we can start to look forward and to focus our hopes and energy on getting Phoebe back into remission.