Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Father's Chemotherapy Started Again Today

My father started his chemotherapy today at Walter Reed Army Hospital.  He is the world record holder for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).  Twice in the past five years he has had Chemotherapy treatments.  His oncologist has decided that it is time for my him to get another treatment.   The regimen he will use is referred to as FCR-lite.  He started today with a drug called Fludarabine.   Wednesday, Thursday and Friday he will receive Cyclophosphamide and Rituxamab.  This schedule will continue monthly for six months.  The object is to get the bad white blood cells reduced and the good ones increased.  The doctor said this Chemotherapy will cause him to lose his Spencer Tracy white hair (during Tracy's later years ie in the movie Inherit The Wind.)

The good news is that his Oncologist has stated that after completing this regimen, my father should not need Chemotherapy treatment again for 10-15 years.    His chemo is officially called  FCR-lite treatment.

This morning my mother dropped my sister and father off at Walter Reed's entrance.  My sister relayed the following story to me.  When my father got up to Oncology they started the chemo before my mother had arrived from parking the car.  The Dr. asked my father, "are you feeling any pain right now?"   My father replied, "No, she is still parking the car."   The chemicals are obviously not affecting his sense of humor :-)