My dad had a bone marrow aspiration on Wednesday and his results showed 30% Leukemia cells in his bone marrow. Not great news but nonetheless, we moved forward with the next treatment option.
On Friday night, dad started Blinatumomab.
Things seemed to be going okay on Saturday. Although, today was a bit of a different story. What started with a slight fever (that eventually broke) and some forgetfulness on my dad’s end became much more.
When Matt and I arrived with dinner at 6, dad had very bad chills and wasn’t talking much. His eyes made me feel like something wasn’t right. I offered to help him eat his dinner and he said yes. When I asked if he wanted more to eat, he was only giving me nods with less and less talking.
It got to the point where he couldn’t answer simple questions. He was very confused.
It didn’t take long for nurses and the doctor to start making orders for anti-seizure (preventative) medication and steroids (help calm the Blinatumomab). Unable to move his own body, a lift moved my dad from his chair to the hospital bed and they wheeled him to have a CT scan done on his head. This was to capture what his brain currently looks like (ensure there is no bleeding).
This side affect that my dad is experiencing is called a cytokine storm. The Bliatumomab is working very aggressively to kill all of the leukemia cells and my dad’s body is in shock to say the least. On top of his chills and fever, the neurons in his brain just aren’t functioning like they should.
As of 9pm tonight my dad’s started to be more awake and remember answers to simple questions. He is still a bit confused but was able to to remember who was in the room, our names and shared that his favorite color was blue, but not like scrubs blue, like denim blue. We attribute this increased alertness and brain functioning to the steroid that they gave my dad to help calm the Blinatumomab a bit.
Extra precautions have been made, like seizure mats around his bed to help protect my dad in the case of a seizure. He can’t get out of his bed without the help of 2 nurses. His seemed to be frustrated with why he can’t do all of these things on his own.
The doctor has decided to continue Blinatumomab with the thought that we want to figure out a way to manage my dad’s side affects without jumping ship on the drug all together.
We know there is still hope for remission.
Thank your for your constant prayers. We need them.
Jessica + family