Her leukemia was resistant to chemotherapy, so she ended up receiving a bone marrow stem cell transplant in December 2014. While the transplant was tough, she made it through, and things were looking good until she detected small amounts of the leukemia coming back after about five months. She then enrolled in a clinical trial to receive CAR T-cell therapy in Seattle, so she and her family moved there for two months in late 2015. The CAR T-cell therapy seems to have activated her new donor immune system, and it has been doing a good job keeping her cancer away. However, it also caused her to get chronic graft vs. host disease (GVHD) in January 2016.
In her case, some examples of what’s been affected are her eyes, skin, fascia (the connective tissue under the skin, resulting in restricted movement – it’s now difficult for her to do simple day-to-day activities like putting on clothes and shoes and walking), as well as mild involvement with her liver and lungs. So they’re currently working on treating my GVHD, but it’s a slow process, and much like a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs.