I’ve been wondering how I’m going to journey down the road when my chemo infusions are finished late June. My initial understanding was that I’d progress through 3 stages of treatment:
- Induction – 1 month in hospital with initial chemo treatments to work towards remission.
- Consolidation – 8 months out patient chemo infusions at cancer center to kill hidden cancer cells that may still be lurking.
- Maintenance – 2 years oral medications to help keep from relapsing.
I’ve been living in limbo because of questions I’ve had regarding the final two year maintenance phase.
“Can I travel in my trailer during this time or do I need to stay in town?”
“How often will I need to see my doctor?”
“What sort of tests will they need and at what frequency?”
“Will the maintenance drugs make me ill making it harder to handle the demands of solo travel?”
At my doctor’s appointment last week, I was given the best news. I’m considered low risk for relapse and therefore I won’t need to complete the two year maintenance treatment!
Great news, right? I’ll need to see my doctor once every three months for two years to make sure I’m still in molecular remission, but this can be done with a simple blood test. The PCR blood test (polymerase chain reaction) can detect if the leukemia returns, similar to having a bone marrow biopsy, but a whole lot easier!
Other than returning to Tucson every three months, my doctor has cleared me for travel come July.
I’ll see you all on the road soon!