11, 12???

It has been a while since my last update. Too long. A lot has happened since June 26th. On June 26th I had one of my full doctor appointments: complete blood count, doctor visit, bone marrow aspiration and methotrexate infusion. My typical visit every three months and this was going to be my 11th bone marrow aspiration. Well things were not so typical. First white blood cell count was low. It was 3.1. Normally it has been between 5 and 6. In fact it had not been that low since heavy chemotherapy in July 2005. At least I did have enough neutrophils, per the doctor. Turns out that there was more bad news for me. I am very near the end of my treatment so we discussed my medical care future. My doctor is referring me to an internist for general care. She also mentioned, as a cancer survivor, I am at higher risk for other cancers, I need to have my prostate checked in the next couple of years (oh joy, I am 38 years old) and due to the medications and chemotherapy I had to fight my leukemia, I was at higher risk for getting leukemia again. Yay. I knew all of this already. I do not like hearing it. I also do not think that statistics, etc. have anything to do with me. Just numbers, not fortune tellers. So onto the next part of the visit. The bone marrow aspirate. The 11th one. Well this one was all wrong. She could not get any marrow! Crazy I know, but I have heard of this happening. She tried twice to no avail. And I got dosed lidocaine twice. So by the time I went for down to the infusion room for my methytrexate I was a little drunk and belligerent. A got a new nurse to give me my shot. She sees my tattoos and decides to inform me that “red and yellow ink are a higher risk for skin cancer”. You know what? I did not want to hear anything like that. Not after all the crap I had just been through. I whatever-ed it, got my shot went to the back room to rest off my lidocaine drunk. What a visit! To get a bone marrow aspiration, we rescheduled for the following week, July 3rd.

The bone marrow aspiration (my 12th – I got all the pain with the prior week’s so it counts) on July 3rd went well. I still do not have the results. Unfortunately my white blood cell count was only up to 3.2. My doctor cut my mercaptopurine dosage in half. Yay. I have never liked mercaptopurine. Then, who really likes cytotoxins??? No known reason for the drop in my white blood cell count. It could be my body’s reaction to the drug regimen after two years or the bone marrow aspiration results might have something to say.

Today was my normal weekly visit. A complete blood count and my methotrexate shot. Good news. Cutting the mercaptopurine dosage might be having an effect. My white blood cell count today was 6.3! Only three more visits. I am done on July 31st. Done with drugs. There will be another bone marrow aspiration that day. Meh.

Other news, I am in middle of my last round of ATRA. Like last time, it is kicking my butt. I tell you, I could sleep 16 hours a day. Easy. Thankfully I will be done with ATRA on the 18th.

21 more days of drugs. That is it!

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