The spot on Mom's face has changed, but Dr. S isn't going to do a biopsy of it. She didn't schedule a bone marrow biopsy either. From Mom's symptoms, Dr. S has decided it's time to try chemotherapy again.
Two weeks from today, May 4th, Mom will start a protocol of Fludarabine and Rituxin. Dr. S says Mom won't lose as much hair as she did on the Cytoxin, Rituxin, and Vincristine, AND Mom won't have to take Prednizone (yay - no grumpiness!). Dr. S doesn't expect Mom to get as physically ill as she did the first go 'round. Mom will take Bactrim, an antibiotic, for about 6 months to help her fend off infection and Allopurinol to help her body handle the toxins.
In preparation, she'll have a tooth fixed on April 23, as this kind of chemotherapy will drastically reduce her white blood cell count and make her susceptible to infections. Then she'll have a PET scan done at the Colonades a week from today, Monday, April 27th, to see what the cancer's doing and to get a benchmark against which to compare any progress.
This chemo is once a day for five days. We'll do that once every four weeks. The first day will take about 8 hours, and each day after that should take 2-3 hours, depending on Mom's bloodwork.
So we'll do a PET scan, 3 rounds of chemo, and then another PET scan to find out if it's making a difference.
Photo courtesy of Corbis.