We went to Stanford today to talk with Dr. Coutre about what to do with a low white cell count and what we needed to do to get pregnant.
First off my white cell count today is 2,100. That's pretty low. I'm off the Gleevec till it comes back up to normal. Apparently this could take 1 to 2 weeks.
There are three types of responses to treatment for CML. A "complete hematologic response" is when your blood work shows normal cell counts. A "complete cytogentic response" is when there are no marrow cells with the Ph chromosome and no blood cells containing the BCR-ABL oncogene detected by FISH. A "complete molecular response" is when PCR testing reveals no BCR-ABL oncogene-containing cells in the blood.
In short, hematologic is good, cytogentic is better and molecular is best.
Dr. Coutre said that he does not recommend conceiving while on Gleevec. I would need to be off it for at least 2 weeks. In addition, he does not recommend getting off the Gleevec until I have achieved a "complete cytogentic response". This could take 6-18 months.
There is a small chance that I'll be off the Gleevec long enough right now waiting for my cell counts to come back up to normal that we could try this month. That would require us to figure out how to actually go about that within the next 1-2 weeks though. It's a long shot that I'm really not sure we're up to it right now.
That means that, if things go well, Wendy and I can't start trying to have a child again for at least 6 months. Possibly as long as 18 months.
If things go well.
Today has not been a good day. I was assuming I could get off the Gleevec now and figure out how to conceive through whatever expensive magic the local fertility clinic could conjure up. Now we have to wait for up to one and a half years before we can even start trying to have a family again.
This is not fair, and we don't deserve this. We want to start a family very badly. We've already been trying for over year and it's already been a tough road even without the cancer. Now we're on hold.
My Blood Hates Me.