Month: October 2013

City of Hope Surprise!

This past weekend, Mike, David and I all went to Los Angeles to visit my mom.  She is trying out a new chemo drug, there are many uncertainties and we still had some paper work to take care of for the stem cell transplant donor preparation.  My mom knew Mike and I were coming.  However, she did not know David was coming, too!  He surprised her while she was still at the hospital, and to top it all off, he shaved his head while he was there so they could be bald buddies.  That is such a David Pham move.  Such a class act.  So proud to have him as a little brother.


David and Mommy

Nelarabine – a new chemotherapy

We found out October 7th the my mom definitely did not respond to the two cycles of chemotherapy – Hyper CVAD A and Hyper CVAD B.  Dr. Grant Lewis in Savannah initiated her Hyper CVAD treatment.  She continued the 2nd cycle of Hyper CVAD at City of Hope.  Dr. Salhotra told us pretty early in the process that if she does not go into remission with this type of chemo, the he would put her on a more aggressive type.  This more aggress type is called Nelarabine.  Unlike Hyper CVAD which targets a range of Lymphoma and Leukemia, Nelarabine is specific to T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Nelarabine is only prescribed to patients who did not respond to at least two cycles of a different type of chemotherapy. We have about two more weeks until we know the full effects of the drug.  If there are still blasts in her blood and bone marrow, then we must proceed with other options.

While we wait for this to take effect, I am working with my uncle in Vietnam to make sure he is ready with a VISA to come to the United States when necessary to be my mom’s stem cell donor.  He is a 100% match! Getting a VISA from a country like Vietnam is not easy, so we are hoping for the best with the U.S. Consulate.  At least the government shutdown is over and there is a consultant for him to visit!