I promised I would give an update after our trip to the BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) clinic yesterday. The news was pretty good. Here it is in table form for the most important counts:
At discharge Yesterday (4/2) Normal range
Hematocrit (red blood cells): 26 34 45 for men
Platelets 21 105! 140-440
Neutrophils (infection fighters) 4.7 1.7* 2.2 - 4.8
So, both my red blood cell production (and thus more oxygen and energy) have gone up substantially which is a good sign as ha my platelet count. I'm not going to bleed out right away! I still have a ways to go toward the normal range on both, but that is a good move in the right direction.
My neutrophils have dropped significantly, but this was expected. They were toked up on neupogen and production soared and is now dropping down to more expected levels. I hope they are stabilizing and should soon hit the normal range.
No transfusions for me, right now, thank you very much!
The PA and the doctor were both pleased with the results and said they were quite good. I have been able to walk every day with my wife and the dogs except for yesterday (cold, blah, and we were both very tired). I will try and keep that up -- it seems to really make a difference.
The doctor said something like: "These are really good results. They show that your immune system has rebooted and is working to get up to speed. Your new immune system is like a baby's, though -- it still has a lot to learn about how to fight infections, what they look like", and so forth.
So I've got a nube for an immune system, but it is working hard. Thus, the mask and avoiding lots of people still. We don't want to overwhelm it just yet. It will get a chance to learn and grow, but we want to do that slowly so it is strong enough to do well. Keep those measles away from me!
The nap attacks are still hitting me, and that is part of the process of maintaining energy through the day. Today, I laid down just for a "rest", woke up when my wife walked in the room about 30 minutes later, turned over just to get warm, and woke up again about another 35 minutes later. Whew! Growing an immune system is hard work.
I will be stopping my Coumadin on Sunday. They will check me again next Thursday, and I expect that we will remove the trifusion catheter from my chest. We will then schedule a follow-up appointment with my regular oncologist. After that hole in my chest heals, I'll be able to do jumping jacks and take showers and have fun! Now, where to get the energy.......
It will come, my friends and family -- things are looking good.
And that is the latest! I posted an announcement on my Facebook page about my hospital-neighbor Elena Jakobson. Please take a look at it.