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cary Wed Mar 14, 2018 07:51 PM

new member
 
I just found out about this site and joined. I am a Viet Nam Vet 69-70 and was diagnosed with MDS in November 2017. I have been taking Vidazza (7 days at a time) since December and just finished my 4th month with 8 more to go.
I was not stationed anywhere near Agent Orange that I knew of so all this comes as a surprise to me.
cary epes

Rarity Thu Mar 15, 2018 07:59 AM

Hi Cary,

I don't have anything to share regarding Vidaza and sorry you have this too. It most certainly is shocking to hear especially because it's something you haven't heard of. I was glad to find this site as well and find it very helpful when we first had the diagnosis and now. I'm sure you will learn a lot reading through this site.

Wishing you all the best and thank you for serving.

Rarity

Leigh Clark Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:30 AM

Hi Cary,

If you would like to get connected with other veterans, contact AAMDSIF, help@aamds.org or call 800-747-2820 x140.

Best wishes to you.

Leigh

Tereze Sat Jun 9, 2018 02:30 AM

New diagnosis, new member
 
I am newly-diagnosed with highest-risk MDS brought on by chemotherapy. Starting vidaza on Monday, but it doesnít make much sense to me, as most of what Iíve read about vidaza suggests it is effective for a limited time, perhaps 2 years. At that time a transplant would be my only option. Iím 72. It seems to me it might be wiser to have the transplant as soon as possible.

I had pretty much made up my mind to ask my doctor about this... but Iíve just read details about the procedure, and it truly sounds... appalling. With ongoing risks; as if one is never really out of the woods. Yet without it I doubt I can live 2 years. I have a rich, lively life and a 3-year old granddaughter I want to see grow up! I keep returning to the thought that the transplant is really my only choice. Iím not ready to say, Ďok, two more years, thatís it.í And if I wait Iíll just be - older, and sicker!

But the transplant sounds - well, terrifying.

Iíd be grateful to hear from folks whoíve had transplants, or anyone who wants to weigh in!

Thanks everyone...
Tereze

Hopeful Sat Jun 9, 2018 01:38 PM

Hi Tereze,

I haven't had personal experience with Vidaza, but from what I have heard and seen, Vidaza can be an effective pre-treatment regimen for transplant. It also has been used successfully as part of some post-transplant regimens (for example, Robin Roberts who also had secondary MDS).

The one caution with Vidaza is that if you start it, you should be prepared to stick it out for at least 6 cycles before determining whether it has worked. If you stop sooner, it seems like things could go downhill faster.

Responders to Vidaza seem to have a pretty full life while it is working. Plus there is always the potential that new treatments/regimens will be discovered in the meantime - especially with the rapid evolvement of genomics.

Enjoy your granddaughter!

Su H Tue Oct 30, 2018 08:20 PM

Hello!

I'm Su in Florida. I have been diagnosed with AA. Right now, the doctor is just watching the levels. They quit dropping, finally. My white blood count was 3.7 (4-10-range)at my last visit. Hemoglobin - 9.1(12-16-range). Platelets - 23(150-200-range). Doc indicates treatment, drugs, will likely begin in a couple of months.

I don't really understand! He said my bone marrow was functioning at 1%. Obviously, I don't feel good, but, I don't know what to think! The first doctor, the one who discovered this, was adamant that I start treatment right away. However, the transplant specialist I was sent to is taking a slower approach.
I have too much I want to do and learn! My family is raised and I live by myself. I'm very happy with my arrangement! Now, this!

I'll be reading other folks' posts. I just don't really know what to do or think about this. I've not ever been ill like this before.

Thank you!

Hopeful Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:59 PM

Hello Su,

Welcome to the forum! You may want to start a brand new post to get more visibility to your questions.

Did you doctors do a BMB and many other tests to rule out other possible causes for your low counts?

If your ANC is normal and you are not transfusion dependent, most doctors will watch-and-wait for moderate AA. However, there have been many studies for SAA that show the time between diagnosis and treatment is absolutely critical for response. I don't think the same studies on the timeliness of treatment have been done for MAA, unfortunately.

If you first doctor is adamant about starting treatment right away, take note! If your immune system is attacking your marrow, you need to stop the attack quickly to prevent further damage.

Typically the transplant doctors are less interested in IST. So, if you are confused by the different doctor responses, get an urgent appointment with another non-transplant AA specialist.

Good luck!

Su H Sun Nov 4, 2018 05:11 PM

Thank you, @Hopeful! I think I will post a new thread. Right now, I am so confused, like, discombobulated! I am freaked out - still!

Thank you for responding to my post, though! I have had two BMB's. I'll continue in a dedicated post.


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