So last Wednesday was my second bone marrow biopsy. The first one, to confirm my diagnosis in July of 2008, was 70%. Seven of every ten cells were cancerous.
At one point I was really sweating this second bone marrow biopsy because of it's impact on having the stem cell transplant. Not everyone is qualified for STC. Every doctor has a "threshold" that you must meet. I had heard of one doctor whose threshold was 5%. I was beside myself! What were the odds of dropping from 70% to 5% or less? If I had endured these six cycles of Revlimid/Velcade/Dex only to be told that I was not qualified for STC, I would have lost my mind!!!
When I voiced these fears to Denise, the transplant coordinator, she told me that Dr. Miller's threshold was 20%. Also, failing to meet it didn't rule you out, it just delayed it until you did two or more additional chemo cycles.
Well, 20% or less seemed much more doable. And failure just meant more chemo - which would blow, but I could do it. As much as I whine and moan, I actually do know they are saving my life.
Today, Kate gave me my results (a week earlier than the 2008 results were revealed)....
Less than 1%.
It is the best possible position from which to have a stem cell transplant.
They are very excited.