About a month ago, I posted that I was considering stopping FCR treatment after 4 cycles pending a Bone Marrow Biopsy and PET scan. The results are in and the BMB showed "NO residual CLL detected" and the Normocellular at 40% cellular, Normal for my age. The March BMB, when I was diagnosed, showed 95% overall cellularity (hypercellular) with CLL involving 95% of the marrow cellularity. The PET scan was also clean. Therefore, I am ending my treatment at 4 cycles.
Along with the recommendation of my oncologist, I found this article very useful in my decision to end treatment at 4.
My results shows how effective FCR can be and why it is considered the first line of treatment for those that can tolerate it. However, I was glad I could stop at 4 sessions. The fourth was the hardest and took the longest to recover. Even 4 weeks after the last treatment my blood work shows I have been slow to recover.
I am very thankful for everything my Oncology team a has done and their concern and care for me. And very thankful that I responded this well to treatment and hope for a long remission period to enjoy life. I know many people have not responded as well to treatment or unable to get proper treatment and wish them well and realise how fortunate I am.
The plan going forward is to monitor my blood work until I show full recovery from treatment. Then continue to monitor for the return of CLL. It is somewhat uncomforting to think that there is nothing to do to prevent the return of CLL other than live a healthy lifestyle and pray. The thought is; there is nothing out there that that does not have any side effects, so why subject your body to that until you need treatment. Any thoughts on this? Should I be seeing a CLL specialist, would they advise me different?