September 24, 2002

  • Dad's tests came back very negative. At this point, the doctors believe that any form of traditional "treatments" for AML, combined with his other health issues would likely kill him, or cause very significant damage. Transplants are not an option because they have to take place once the leukemia is "under control." They also tend not to work with people over 65 or 70 on AML.

 

  • The treatments in question typically render someone defenseless from germs and other antibodies. Given his medical history, and the fact that he couldn't fight off a simple cold while undertaking these treatments, the doctors suggest that he would need to stay hospitalized for the entire treatment
    cycle.

 

  • The cancer team here seem to give him a 10-15 percent chance of success. His second opinion gave him just 10 percent higher. This opinion came from his family doctor who also treats cancer, but not leukemia.

 

  • Even if the treatments are successful, he would only buy a few additional months. He likely would not live as long as another year WITH treatment. Without treatment, he would likely pass away within a month or so. With treatment and due to his condition, he would likely spend 90 percent or more of his remaining days in the hospital, with very limited visitation, etc.

 

  • After an afternoon of thought and discussion, Dad decided to come home and to go without treatment for the cancer.  He should be coming home tomorrow, after hospice care is established.

 

  • Medically, his white-blood-cell count went back down as the day went on.  He also seems to be breathing much better.

 

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Page Last Updated:  01/02/2010