Washington — The longtime head of the Plastics Industry Association, Bill Carteaux, disclosed on Facebook Nov. 2 that the acute myeloid leukemia he's been fighting since April 2016 has returned, and he's starting another round of treatment aimed at putting it into remission.
“On Monday of this week (my 59th birthday), I was told definitively that my AML was back,” Carteaux wrote on his InvinciBill Bone Marrow Transplant page. “A routine blood test the week before showed my blood counts were down so my docs ordered another bone marrow biopsy. The results showed I had indeed had another relapse.”
He said after consulting with doctors at Virginia Cancer Specialists and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, a regimen of chemotherapy, his third round of treatment for the blood cancer will begin Nov. 5.
“The goal is to get me back in remission so that I can move forward with another transplant,” he said. “This time with my youngest daughter Mallory as my donor.”
Carteaux, who has led the plastics association since 2005, had a round of treatment in 2016 that resulted in remission in October of that year.
The cancer returned in July 2017, and Carteaux underwent a bone marrow transplant in November 2017 as part of a trial procedure at the National Institutes of Health.
That transplant was part of a new treatment using umbilical cord blood from babies, rather than adult donors, as a replacement for his bone marrow.
This latest round of chemo is expected to last several months, Carteaux said.
“Dr. Jones at Hopkins has assured me that they have very good success with a haploidentical bone marrow transplant following a failed cord blood transplant,” he said. “That is what Mallory is, a half-match, since she carries one of my chromosomes.”
He said it's been almost a year since the transplant “that was to put leukemia behind me for the rest of my life. As we all know, every plan does not go as we would like.”
“Scared? Hell yes I'm scared! But that said, I got this just like I have the past two times!!,” he wrote. “And as they say, “Third Times a Charm”!! I am going to beat this once and for all and all of you are going to help me just like you have in the past.”
Since his diagnosis, Carteaux has been very active with the Washington chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
He has chaired the corporate side of the group's fundraising Light the Night Walks for the past two years in the Washington area, and has joined the board of the local chapter, one of the country's largest.
In a fundraising appeal last month, he detailed his treatment: “a total of 74 days in the hospital, 9 rounds of chemo covering 47 days (over 500 hours of actual chemo), a day of whole-body radiation, and then a bone marrow transplant on November 17, 2017, I am doing great.”
In disclosing that the cancer has returned, the energetic Carteaux made note of the plastics medical components used in his treatment, posting a picture of a Hickman central intravenous line used for administering drugs.
“It is a type of Hickman that is a dual lumen,” he wrote. “And guess what? It is ALL PLASTIC! Once again, plastic will be helping to save my life!!”