We’re back at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the morning for Henry’s Day 28 Minimal Residual Disease Test. It’s an important milestone. Henry’s been blasted for the past month with steroids (dexamethasone), and chemotherapy (intrathecal methotrexate, vincristine and asparaginase). The aim has been to destroy the leukaemia cells in his bone marrow and stop it spreading to his brain and spine which is so far clear of disease.
Tomorrow’s MRD test looks at how many leukaemia cells are left in Henry’s bone marrow after his month of treatment. It is a really good way of determining how well he’s been responding to the therapy. It will also determine which treatment regimen he’s on and how much chemotherapy and other treatment he’ll need – especially during the next phase.
While he’s asleep tomorrow, they’ll also take the opportunity to give him another dose of intrathecal methotrexate – a chemotherapy which is given through a lumbar puncture – or less technically as an injection into his spine.
Henry’s in high spirits. Although he’s irritated by having to go for more surgery, he’s most annoyed at not being able to have anything to eat or drink in the morning. I wish our concerns were so straightforward.