Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia is something we could only keep at bay with the medicines we had, but eventually the cancer would win and the patient would die. We are praying this has started to change for us here at Kudjip thanks to Glivac. Glivac is a medicine which specifically targets the cancerous cells of the CML pts. It is a medicine that the patients will take their whole life, but if it works around 90% of patients are cured of their cancer. The problem for us was it's expense. Thankfully the company that produces it (Novartis), has made it available to 3rd world countries to treat CML pts for free. Our patients only have to pay for a blood test, which gets sent to Australia, to determine if they have the correct chromosomal transformation which Glivac targets. If they have this chromosomal transformation then they qualify for the program and the company sends the medicine to us to treat these patients.
When we first heard about the program I started to make a list of the patients I knew who had CML that I had seen and was treating with our temporary agents, and came up with 9 patients. We now have 3 patients who have qualified for the program, and one more in the works. Those who are on the medicine are responding quite well to it, which is exciting for us. The majority of our cancer patients die, so to have something that will work to beat cancer is an exciting prospect.
Jonathon is one of those patients. A 12 yo boy who came in with almost his whole blood taken over by cancer cells, his WBC was 500,000+. On Glivac, his WBC now is 11, after only 2 wks (he was around 80,000 before we started the Glivac). His father just asked how long he needs to take this medicine, forever. It seems so long, but if it helps to keep him alive, it will be worth it.
Anna is another patient with CML who Bill has been treating for years. She now has started Glivac and is responding quite well. When I talked to her about it today, she was so thankful to hear that she might be cured of her cancer with this medicine, and was praising God for His goodness. Today after seeing her and a few other long term pts who are getting better, I was thankful for all that God does for us and was reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. God is good.