Unfortunately it appears I am not one of the lucky people who can go on low dose Sprycel and maintain a stable response. This is extremely frustrating and I don't understand why I am having this issue. I was on Gleevec for about 2 years, was PCRu within the first year and maintained it. SIde effects were very difficult so switched to Sprycel at 100mg. Stayed PCRu but started having lots of chest pains. Lowered dose down to 50mg and stayed PCRu for a little bit. Hospital changed labs and suddenly I wasn't PCRu anymore (by an entire log). Repeated tests and numbers continued to trend upwards by 6/13 I was at .02, barely 4 log reduction. went to 70 mg and 7/13 was .01 then 8/13 .0034 (lab shows that .0032 is their cut off and considered CMR anything less than that). Assumed I was back on track and 70mg would do it. SIde effects are manageable. 10/13 results were .005 and now 1/14 results are .009. Dr has been very clear that technically I am fine, I am still MMR and at this point 4log reduction. But even though I am in the area of noise with PCR, the trend is clearly on the upward slope for last three results (.003, .005, .009). He is going to increase my dose to 80mg and see how I feel and if I can tolerate it try to go back to 100mg.
On one hand I know I am in a decent place, but on the other this doesn't seem to make sense, why suddenly does it seem like the CML is fighting back so much. I was on 50 and everything was fine then it started to climb, we went to 70 it knocked it down temporarily and now it is climbing again. They did a mutation test a few months ago but could not find anything. Why would Gleevec, which is a weaker drug have held me in CMR with no problem but Sprycel which is a stronger drug have an issue even as I come back up on dosage. I hear of so many people on low dose of Sprycel at CMR, it frustrates me and makes me worry.
I have really tried to put CML on the back burner and not make it the focus of my life, but it seems no matter how hard I try to do that, it insists on being front and center to make me miserable. I have had such a better attitude over the last year but this just keeps rearing its head. I was on track to be a cessation candidate and now it seems pretty clear that will never happen.