We where in Houston yesterday for Ann's third dose of Rituxan and we have a bit of good news to share. I will add the disclaimer that it's not as definitive or quantified as I would like, but it's good non-the-less. Dr. Kebereai checked Ann over and said that she felt like Ann was having a complete clinical reaction to the Rituxan. The massive node in Ann's neck has receded completely and she is able to breath a bit our of her left nostril if she holds her right one closed.
In addition Ann's graft looks really health and energetic. The chimerism test for Ann's bone marrow biopsy taken two weeks ago came back and it looks like the expanded cord is still the final winner. Ann had two donor cords: DUCB 8676 and 306286P. 8676 was also expanded to increase the amount of stem cells available for the transplant. It only took a couple of weeks after transplant for 8676 to dominate and now a couple of months later it still is. Ann has joked that she should change her name to "8676".
The reason I put the disclaimer on the news is because our doctor explained that the clinical response to Rituxan and a visible/measurable response on a CT or PET scan may lag by 6 weeks or more. It would be nice just once to have a doctor state something with absolute and unequivocal certainty. Still I will take my good news where ever I can find it.
Ann's new hair, which is baby fine has reached a point where it doesn't have weight on it to keep it straight. After she takes a shower it starts to curl up like a sheep. It's both cute and a little disturbing at the same time. Ann is really worried about future styling options, but has promised a picture of it tomorrow.
The only other issue that Ann is dealing with right know is a strange case of dry skin all over her back and arms. We thought that this might have been GVHD, but the doctor ruled it out. It might be fungal, which isn't likely because it doesn't itch. Its probably a reaction to the water in Houston, which is rough, the new antibacterial soap from the hospital or both. Just to be on the safe side, Doctor Kebrieai set up a appointment with the dermatologist next week when we return for the next dose of Rituxan. Complications are the rule not the execption for post transplant patients.