Libby has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). The prognosis for this type of leukemia is very good-praise God! She had surgery on Thursday to have a few procedures done, and receive her first dose of chemotherapy. Everything went well! They were able to place her port (through which drugs can be injected and blood samples can be drawn many times), and get an even better look at what we’re dealing with in terms of the leukemia. And, so far, all good! Nothing was seen in her spinal fluid, her bone marrow has significantly less cells than often seen, and her counts continue to look good.
We are currently in what is called the “induction phase”. It is one of the more intense phases of her treatment, and lasts about a month. Typically, you actually do go home during induction, and then have weekly clinic visits. However, because of Libby’s prior infection, they are being extra cautious and plan to keep us at the hospital until her counts fully recover. This may or may not be the entire month, but we’re planning on a month, and hope to be pleasantly surprised if we get to go home early!
Our understanding is that the couple of months that follow are mild compared to the first month, followed by another intense phase, another mild phase, and then finally we’ll enter the maintenance phase. So, we’re looking at weekly outpatient clinic visits for the first six to eight months. If we hit a bump (a fever, sickness, low counts, etc.) we may have to be hospitalized for a few days here and there. The maintenance phase begins after the six to eight months, and will consist of monthly outpatient clinic visits. Apparently, the maintenance phase will become our new normal, for about two years. Whew.