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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Officially Official

Last week we got word regarding Dante's AFP: 5.9 (below 7.9 is normal). This, coupled with the clear CT scan, and being 6 months out of treatment means that he is officially in remission! It doesn't mean he's out of the woods yet; another 6 months or so, before the odds of recurrence are infinitesimal. It is, however, the first real benchmark of progress towards that goal.

It seems like a lifetime from those first few days of terror when we had no idea what was going to happen. When all we wanted was for the doctors to give it a name so they could start treating it, and for the surgeons to cut out as much as they could.

Remarkably, Dante was able to stay on his chemo schedule and became one of the only patients to make it through his protocol without any infections or other setbacks. Originally, when I asked, Dr. Grana said his treatment would take 6 to 9 months because the chemotherapy was so aggressive. Dante made it through in 4 months. Not like it was a walk in the park. On the contrary, just about every day after the second round, Dante got sick. He stopped eating. He received half a dozen blood and platelet transfusions. He needed daily injections of GCSF (boosts red blood cell production), and he lost some hair...

But through all of it, he managed to smile and be silly. He was (and still is) happy to see the nurses and staff in the clinic and at the hospital. And regardless of how bad it could seem, we were always aware that it could be worse. Often, in the next room or just down the hall.

At the last visit to the clinic, we were speaking to Dr. Barbosa about odds of recurrence and he mentioned the treatability of Germ Cell Tumor, and how he had just gotten back from seeing another boy about Dante's age who has GCT. He had a large tumor in his brain. After 1 round it was gone. "Just melted away. Pfhhttt!"

We've been keeping busy with swimming and school and trying to stay cool in this awful heat and humidity this summer. Dante and Carina have been very happy kids lately, with maybe a bit more energy than we are used to! It's a nice problem to have, though...


  • Fabulous news and I'm so happy for all of you!!


    By Blogger Kip, at 12:28 PM  

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