The first 28 days of Emily’s treatment are called the Induction. During this period, she undergoes an intensive regimen of steroids and both intravenous (through her port) and intrathecal (direct to spinal fluid) chemotherapy. The goal is that by Day 28 of her treatment, more than 95% of the Leukemia cells in Emily’s body have been killed, placing her cancer in remission. The more successful this first period of treatment is, the better her long-term prognosis is for a permanent cure.
Today we learned that as of Day 8 of treatment, there were less than 1% Leukemia cells remaining in Emily’s blood – more than 99% of the cells have already been killed!
If at the end of the Induction period in 2 weeks, Emily’s bone marrow biopsy confirms this rate, Emily’s Leukemia may be classified as Low-Risk with a 99% cure rate!
We are thrilled to receive this news and to know that Emily’s body is responding to the treatment exactly as it should be. Thank you to everyone for keeping Emily in your prayers. It is difficult to see such a little girl struggling through so much but we know this journey has a purpose and that God is holding her in His arms.
Please continue to pray as we await the results of Emily’s first spinal tap. The preliminary results of this tap (completed before her chemotherapy started), indicated Emily had white blood cells in her spinal fluid. Based on that information, Emily was classified as standard-risk for Central Nervous System Leukemia (CNS 2). We are awaiting further microscopic analysis of the spinal fluid to determine whether the white blood cells were in fact Leukemia cells. If they are, even with the good bloodstream results, Emily’s Leukemia may still be classified as average-risk and require more aggressive treatment in the years ahead.
As for going home, the doctors have said it is possible Emily could leave the hospital as early as tomorrow night or Friday morning. The antibiotics she has been on to fight a possible infection in her Broviac line will finish at 10pm tomorrow night. If the doctors also determine that her Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) is at a safe level, or steadily moving in that direction, she will be released to be with her family once again!
Please pray for the results of the spinal tap tests, that they show positive results for a low-risk Leukemia. Please also pray that Emily’s ANC level will rise so she can return home to her eager siblings and the comfort of her own bed.
And finally, please praise the Lord that Emily’s blood is responding well to treatment and we have hope for a permanent cure!