Here we go.....this is a lot to take in, and an even harder reality to face. Before I start with all of the information, we want to reiterate that we know Who is in control. We believe with all of our hearts that God is going to get Dylan through this sickness and that He will heal him. We know that percentages of survival and statistics do not have God figured into them. With that said, we will give you a condensed version of what the bone marrow doctor, Dr Graham, went over with us.
First things first, Dylan has to be in remission before we will be able to start the bone marrow transplant (BMT). When we say remission, he will have to have an undetectable amount of cancer cells in his blood. This will not mean that he is healed. Usually a leukemia patient can have "cancer free" blood after only a few treatments of chemo. Eventually, within a few months the cancer returns. The doctors feel that Dylan will need at least two more rounds of chemo in order to put him into remission, so three total. He will be starting his second round today.
Dr. Graham thinks that we will be starting the process for the BMT in September. Dylan has to go down to Tucson sometime in the next month to undergo some testing to make sure that his little body can endure the BMT. Once we are ready for the BMT, we will move to Tucson for the procedure. The estimated time for the whole process is about 90 days--YES--3 months! We are trying not to dwell on that right now, only to keep today as the focus. Please pray for me as I will be the one who will be living there most of the time with Erik coming down on weekends and family coming when they can. I am a huge planner, and this is not something that I am excited to plan for. But we will do ANYTHING for our precious Dylan and we are confident that Dylan should be taken care of by the specialists in Tucson. We are thankful that it is only a few hours away from family and friends and not states away.
THE PROCESS: Once Dylan is there, the first treatment that he will receive is a really high does of chemo drugs. This treatment with kill all of his bone marrow. Then they will go in and inject the healthy bone marrow, which will then take over and "set up shop". We are so thankful that he has 2 perfect matches!! They are cord blood matches and contain the stem cells that he needs in order for this to be successful. We are thankful to the family who donated the cord blood to the cord bank at the time of their child's birth--without this, Dylan may not have been able to survive. God works through all things!! It is an answer to prayer and leaves Dylan with a much better chance of survival. After the transfer is done, Dylan will be closely monitored. There are many horrible side effects that may happen, but those side effects are temporary and will go away eventually. We will give more details as time goes on and as we get closer to the BMT. It is hard to look at Dylan and know that he is going to have to endure this tough road ahead, but we are thankful that God is holding him in His arms every second of every day and will give him the strength. Thank you all for your much needed prayers and support during this time--we appreciate you more than you will ever know!
We Love You!
Love Michelle, Erik and Baby Dylan