Tomorrow we go back to the hospital for Grace to get her chemo and also to start the new clinical trial for her Ph(+) inhibitor, Dasatinib. For those of you wondering, we feel strongly that this new medicine will really help Grace, and here's a rundown on it.
Essentially Grace has a genetic mutation on two of her chromosomes within her cancer cells. They've switched places on her 8 and 22 chromosome (normally it's 9 and 22, more on this later). This translocation means that her cancer cells replicate like a kamikaze explosion, putting her into the high-risk category. It means that chemotherapy alone (even aggressive chemo) can't keep up against her genetic mutation. Back in the day, before the original inhibitor called Imatinib was created, cancer patients with this mutation were given a 20% chance of remission. After it's creation, the cure rate shot up to 80%.
The only problem with Imatinib is that patients can become immune to it. So they came up with a second generation of the medicine called Dasatinib, which is essentially the same drug as the first but will keep patients from becoming immune, therefore making cure rates even better. The FDA has not approved this drug yet, but trials on adults have been very promising. We thank God that Grace got accepted into the trial so she can have access to this medicine.
We've had a lot of recommendations for alternative therapies for Grace from friends. In order for Grace to stay in the trial we will have to limit other methods used. We're juicing and eating healthy but it's not likely that we'll be able to use herbal remedies or essential oils or food as medicine alternatives. We appreciate all the research our friends have done on these for us, but we do feel God leading us down another path for now. If that changes we'll be sure to reach out to you.
We'll see how Grace does with the meds tomorrow. Her regular chemo is starting to show it's bad side. Typical with the steroids she's taking as part of her regimen, she's swelling in her tummy and face. She's ALWAYS hungry, asking for salami, Pho soup and scrambled eggs all day long. No kidding, she eats more than me. I think that it's stretching out her tummy too quickly so she complains of her stomach hurting all day and is nauseous on top of that. She tires easily, so running, dancing, bikes and scooters are all out. She also gets legitimate mood swings and her sense of smell is heightened. Pretty much like being pregnant but without that "magical glow."
Please keep us in prayer for tomorrow, as I know you all do. We so appreciate all your love and concern and prayers. Know too, that we'll soon be doing a blood drive in honor of Grace in early March. As Grace has needed five blood transfusions in the last two weeks, we are thankful and in an eternal debt to blood and platelet donors.