I had my CBC done today - one week after stopping Sprycel because of Myelosuppression.
My ANC count last week was 0.4. This week it has fallen more even though I am off Sprcel: 0.14
Platelets are lower too as now - for the first time, my Red blood is dropping.
Sprycel packs one hell of a punch and this on a reduced dosage to begin with (70 mg.)
The Oncologists believe that Sprycel - even when I am off the daily dose is hitting the CML much harder than Gleevec and that it will simply take time for my normal blood system to re-form. They intend to keep hitting it when my blood levels rise sufficiently (0.5 ANC, I will resume at 50 mg sprycel). and then take me off when my levels drop. They believe that as the CML cells die off, it is creating "room" for my normal cells to populate. As long as I don't have blasts (I have zero now) I continue on this two steps forward - one step back. The interesting news is that my PCR levels keep dropping. I am at 35% international scale. My last reading was 55% and before that 70%. If I can stay on Sprycel and not have to go off it so often, they would expect these numbers to drop much more dramatically. Right now they are happy to see that it keeps going down. (i.e. trend is good).
Sprycel seems to impact higher in the blood cell line - hence my red blood (and Lymphocytes) getting impacted more this time around (never were affected before on Gleevec).
I asked about stim shots and the consensus is emerging that Neupogen may be stimulating the cancer and that letting the body recover with periodic breaks is better (Dr. Cortes feels that way). I am a guinea pig. One step forward - half step back.
When I resume Sprycell they intend to drop my dosage again and will keep dropping the doseage until I am stable. Then once the counts start to rise, they increase my doseage to normal and that should be the end of this. No one knows how long this will take - but the guess is that by the end of this year it is possible. It certainly seems preferable to what Tedsey has been through. Apparently, Sprycel (and Tasigna) allow for this approach.
I feel like a lab rat ....