Good and Ouch!!!

Wow my counts continue to climb. Amazing:

White Blood Cells: 6.0!!!
Hemoglobin: 16.2!!!
Platelets: 278,000
Neutrophils: 3,800!!!

However, while today’s bone marrow aspirate was not the most painful (the first one was the worst), it was up there. For those of you who have not had a bone marrow aspirate, the pain is two-fold and works like this: 1) the initial puncture – when the needle is pushed into the pelvis; they basically “hammer” it in, it takes a bit and it hurts, but the pain stays in that area 2) when the marrow is drawn into the syringe, it creates a vacuum, this is quick, but it creates an unbelievable flash or jolt of pain, I usually feel this through every single bone in my body..toes to fingers to skull. This time the first part was rough, I should have a pretty good bruise. The second part was not as bad as normal, i.e. I did not feel it through my entire body.

Ah well that’s five of those since April 1, 2005. No more until late April, 2006 :/

How You Doin’ ?

Wow. Per my CBC this week, I am a normal male. Check these counts out:

White Blood Cell Count: 5.1
Hemoglobin: 15.3 – Wow!!!
Platelets: 278,000
Neutrophils: 3600

I cannot remember ever having a 15+ hemoglobin. I am not anemic!

Here it is cold and flu season and I am walking around with a heck of an immune system! You know, this fall I have been pretty healthy. Usually when I go to Europe I get a cold at some point. Not this time. No way. Maybe it’s karma? Yeah, I think I have had enough illness for a while 🙂

It was the holidays last year when I started my health stuff. I had acid reflux and started chasing that right up until I was diagnosed with leukemia on April 1st. It is nice to be getting some time behind on all this.

I Don’t Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)

I have been on maintenance drugs now for a month and half. Last week I started noticing I was getting mouth sores, again. Yuck. I called the Oncology office and they suggested adding a daily multi-vitamin. I did and well the mouth sores seem to be going away. Good thing. I don?t think I can do mouth sores for two years. The drugs are cytotoxic so, I was also worried they might be affecting my blood counts too. Thankfully this week?s CBC showed all counts still look good.


Cytotoxic – Toxic to cells, cell-toxic, cell-killing. Any agent or process that kills cells. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are forms of cytotoxic therapy. They kill cells.

Definition from Medicine.Net.

Title of this post taken from Marilyn Manson. Though, I am pretty sure he was writing about a different experience than I am.


Today I am going to SWAG my CBC before I have it done:

White Blood Count: 4.7
Neutrophils: 2700
Hemoglobin: 12.6
Platelets: 170,000

We will see how close I am in a few hours (I’ll post the actuals later today). If I am real close, I am going to start calling in my counts and skip the weekly blood draws.

Note: For those of you not in the finance world, SWAG essentially means “guess estimate”. I will leave it to you to decipher the acronym 🙂


The most common blood test for me is one tube, called a ‘CBC’. I did not know what CBC stood for but assumed blood was the B and one of the Cs was count. Well I asked today. CBC is “Complete Blood Count”. So with no further adieu…

Today’s CBC:

White Blood Cells: 4.0
Neutrophils: 1700
Hemoglobin: 12.2
Platelets: 77,000 (a little low but expected to bounce back)

Yesterday, I had this dang nosebleed at work. Took forever for it to stop, so I knew I was low on platelets anyhow. The doctor expects them to come back soon based on my CBC history.

My maintenance plan calls for a weekly shot for the next two years. And it is not the kind of shot I can give myself. So I was concerned that I will not be able to leave town for more than six or seven days for the next two years. So I asked about that too. I can leave for 10 or 12 days no problem, schedule around it. Great! I am off to Scandinavia in October or November. Light travel just me and a bag. Oh and maybe a big coat. Scandinavia. Brrr.

Next question for the Oncologist: “Can I get a piercing with the same risk as anyone else?” Answer: “Maybe in the next two years. Let’s talk the next time you come in.” Hmm…maybe I should have mentioned I was thinking nose. Like it did not bleed enough yesterday…