Getting Better All the Time!

Wow!

Look at these counts:

White Blood Cells: 4.5
Hemoglobin: 14.9
Platelets: 243,000
Neutrophils: 2,800

The white blood cell count is the highest it has been in some time. The hemoglobin is the highest I can remember. The platelets and neutrophils are respectable.

This is all very good. Considering how much time I am going to spend on a plane to Copenhagen, I will need a good immune system sitting through all that recycled air. Yuck.

Bone Marrow Aspirate Number Three

Well, as I get these bone marrow aspirates, I get better at it. You can breath through pain and it really helps. That is not to say it was not painful. It was. I felt it from my toe tips to my finger tips, in my bones, all over. It’s quite an amazing jolt really. Anyhow I am glad to be past another one.

Good news. Between rounds three and four of chemotherapy my blood was sent off for molecular testing. It all came back negative. That is a good sign going into today’s bone marrow aspirate.

I also had my counts taken:

White Blood Count: 4.6
Neutrophils: 2600
Hemoglobin: 13.4
Platelets: 315,000

All pretty good. Getting close on the hemoglobin.

And I started maintenance today. Once a week a shot of methotrexate. Daily two pills of mercatopurine. And every three months a fifteen day round of ATRA. So today I got the methotrexate shot and started taking mercatopurine and ATRA (again).

Counts are looking good!

I think I am finally coming out of my round three chemo daze!

Today’s counts:

White Blood Cells: 4.3 (good)
Neutrophils: 2100 (good enough for now)
Hemoglobin: 10.7 (12 – 16 would be nice, but 10 is safe)
Platelets: 182,000 (200,000 – 400,000 is ideal)

Other than two mouth sores, I think I am finally done with round three!

w00t!!!111

Blood counts today are darn near a normal guy’s!!!

My white blood cell count is 6.7. Very much average for a male my size. I have my very own immune system!!!

My red blood cell count is still technically anemic but going up!

My platelets are still astronomically high, but they are coming down.

Tomorrow is my last chemo infusion for the consolidation round. On Friday they will give me a white blood cell booster shot. This will be to keep me with an immune system while the chemotherapy resets my bone marrow blood production again. This sounds much better than being laid up in the hospital on antibiotics 🙂

Oh, and most important? No leukemic blast cells in today’s blood smear. Still in hematological remission folks!

Blood Counts

Here is the information on my most recent blood counts:

– White blood cells are low but acceptable. I just need to be careful to keep my hands clean and watch out for who I come into contact with. No sick people!

– Red blood cells. Technically, I am anemic but I am far better than I was on April first when I checked into the hospital. I do not get tired. No fever, no shortness of breath.

– Platelets are whack. I have about two and a half times the amount of platelets a male of my size should have. While this sounds good considering it was not long ago I had to get platelet transfusions, it is not. To fix this I am taking Lovenox shots twice a day (in the stomach) for another 30 days. I am also taking an aspirin once a day.

Well I am finding out that I am not my blood counts. I still feel good. I can drive, walk a long distiance, take a warm shower…all with impunity 🙂

Dang Clots

Well a Doppler scan on my left arm today showed yet another blood clot. These blood clots are a very probable cause of my ongoing fever. The good news is that my platelet count is now high enough for them to give me a blood thinner to try and dissolve the clots. So maybe the fever will be gone sooner! And I will be home sooner!

My blood counts are up again today. My bone marrow aspirate results are good. My bone marrow does not show leukemia. The molecular tests of the bone marrow still do show leukemia. Hence, multiple rounds of chemotherapy.

Bone Marrow Day

I did it. I got through the bone marrow aspirate. Without morphine and without sedation. Some people have asked why I did not get morphine or sedated. Here is why: 1. I have about 15 more of these bone marrow aspirates ahead of me in the next two years. 2. As an outpatient my only two (convenient) options will be to have them done in my oncologist’s office or at the hospital under sedation. 3. The pain for the method I chose today is quicker. I was walking the floor with a physical therapist minutes after the procedure.

Still running a low fever…waiting. My right arm is not as swollen today. In general my counts up today. And for the first time platelets are up. Only a little but still they are up.

And after going through today’s bone marrow aspirate so well, my spirits are up too. I was not looking forward to that procedure.

Routine…

I take 900 pills each day. Get 900 antibiotics dripped into me each day. Apply 900 creams and ointments to my body. Get 900 examinations a day by doctors and nurses. They all ask the same 900 questions. They take my vitals and weigh me 900 times.

Okay. I might have embellished the numbers. But you get the idea. It “feels” like 900 times.

Here is what is new with me.

– After three weeks, more or less in bed most of the time, I feel a little weak on my feet. I am getting a physical therapist and an occupational therapist.

– My blood counts are all still very low. In fact I am getting two more units of red blood cells today due to an excessively low hemoglobin count. There is a chance I will need platelets tomorrow. I am so ready to be independent on the this blood thing. Come on bone marrow!

– If everything goes as expected I could be discharged from the hospital on May 1st. That would be wonderful. Of course this all hinges on my bone marrow responding correctly to the treatment.

– Lastly, my hair around my hairline comes out by the fistful with great ease. You know, aside from the smoking, I always thought Yul Brynner was way cool 🙂