This past Wednesday, Dr. Lipton called me at home. When I realized it was him, my heart started to beat faster and faster…I was afraid of the news that he might bring. He sounded so serious at first, it totally freaked me out. He said, “Winnie…the test results came back…it’s UNDETECTABLE!!!” I became silent, not knowing what to say. Then I thanked him many, many times, and we hung up.
So, what do the test results mean? It means that based on the most sensitive test available today, they were unable to detect any CML cells in my body. Does it mean that there are absolutely no CML cells in my body? No, there may still be a few floating around in there, but there are so few that even the most sensitive test available today cannot detect them. So…this means that I am officially in remission!!!
What does this mean for me going forward? I will continue on my medication (Gleevec) indefinitely, hoping that it will keep me in remission forever. Dr. Lipton will continue to monitor me with regular blood tests and other tests to make sure (a) the cancer doesn’t come back, (b) GVHD doesn’t show up, and (c) Gleevec doesn’t cause serious side effects. My body needs to continue to recover and get stronger. I still need to be careful about germs.
As promised many posts ago, here is a recent pic of me and Daniel at a friend’s place on New Year’s Eve.