Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Primer in Neutropenia

A primer in what, you ask? neutropenia, a condition in which the body's neutrophils are too low. Neutrophils are the main type of white blood cell that fights infection. The high dose chemo that I received will kill all my bone marrow, which is what generates the blood cells. The stem cells I received last week will regenerate the bone marrow and the blood cells. The neupogen shots I started receiving today help stimulate new cell growth. So, until the new stem cells generate new bone marrow and cells I currently have no immune system. My neutrophils are below 200 (normal I think is above 1500) and my white cell count is .2, normal being somewhere around 3 to 7, I think. As a result until my white cell count and neutrophils increase I am at significantly increased risk for infection. Hence, my roaming privileges around the hospital have been severely curtailed and I must where a mask whenever I leave the room. But, I still feel pretty good, a bit more tired, but all in all, still OK. So that's the status this Tuesday morning. Dan

11 comments:

LYNNE said...

Hi Dan,
Thanks for the lesson on neutropenia. I'm currently taking an Anatomy/Physiology class and am in the middle of studying about cells! I'm glad to hear you're feeling strong enough to be up and about! Know that you, Susan and the girls are in my prayers!
Love,
Lynne

KonradP said...

Uncle Dan,
My very best and most heartfelt greetings go out to you from across the pond. You are in my thoughts. I mean it. I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been going through in these long and hard months so I'll just say this: I sincerely wish and hope that the worst is well behind you, and that the future brings with each new day whatever your heart desires. As for the present, I send you my love.
Konrad

Ingrid said...

Yes, a thank you also from this side of the ocean for a little more accurate explanation on what you actually are going through.
It sounds all so amazing, and so great, that you teach us all of that. Still you're the strongest, no doubt on that.
So let me see, whether I can let you smile a little bit today and take away your thoughts from medicine.
Please invite also Susan to this:
Byron last week taught me the american game of the 20 questions. I'm sure you're smiling already, that I a 43 year old woman, did not know this game. Well, of course I'm ashamed, but I guess that's due to me living here in Europe and starting only now to learn more and more about the States.
Anyway, I love this game, just like a little kid I guess, when they learn it.
So, now you can send me the 20 questions about: ...
I got today something for you, which has no money value,
is nothing to eat,
nothing to wear,
but still, I hope you can have it in the hospital and will give you some power to continue this path.
???
What might it be?

Only, that I will not follow the rule of needing to tell you what it is if you do not find out with the 20 questions, until I see you.

But, I allow you any help or from Susan or any blogger.

All I'm trying to do is let your mind get out of this hospital of which you're probably sick by now.
So let's see what you can come up with ???

Love,
I

Maria Jennett said...

Dan, I am amazed that you have the strength to explain so perfectly such a tough biology lesson. I am learning and remembering at the same time.

You, Susan, and the girls have been in my mind and prayers daily. We have also been going through difficulties of our own. Hopefully, soon we can get together and compare experiences.
Dan, you are remarkable! Thank you for you great humor. Lots of love,
Maria
Bob and the kids send you their best.

Doug Kappel said...

Tough times--but I know how tough and focused you are. We can all beat this thing.
A shipwreck--
A ship wrecked during a storm at sea and two men were able to swim to safety on a small deserted island. They agreed that the only recourse was to pray to God. To find out whose prayer was more powerful , they agreed to divide the island and stay on opposite sides.
The first thing they prayed for was food.
The next morning, the first man found a fruit bearing tree and was able to eat its fruit. The other mans land was left barren.
After a week the first man was lonely andprayed for a wife. Next day another ship had wrecked , and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the Island.On the other side of the island was nothing.
Soon the man prayed for a house,clothes,more food. Next day like magic all these things were given to him. The second man still had nothing.
Finally the first man prayed for a ship so that he and his wife could leave the island. Next morning was a ship docked at his side of the island so he and his wife boarded the ship and prepared to set sail.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from above, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"
"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them," the first man answered."His prayers were not answered so he deserves nothing."
The voice rebuked him. "He only had one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."
"Tell me, what did he pray for thatthat I should owe him anything?"
"He prayed that all of your prayers be answered."
For all we know,our blessings are not thefruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.
My prayers and many others are with you and the family.
Our love to you,
The Kappel family

Ingrid said...

Thanks to the Kappel family for this wonderful story. It truly tells what we're doing.

Dan said...

First, let me note that I think we have now officially covered all of the world with this blog other than perhaps Africa and the Mid East. Our friends Doris and Devraj went on a sort of world tour in September covering a good part of Europe and India and sent greetings from many of those places. My nephew Konrad has now blogged in from Poland where he is pursuing a Masters degree(thanks for the very nice note Konrad, I hope you are doing well) and his father (my brother Tom) has blogged in from Japan recently while there on business. And of course we know Ingrid lives in beautiful Siena, Italy. We also have most of the US covered, with the likes of New York (both East Hampton and Verplanck (gotcha Arlene), North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas, North Dakota (southside Dickinson too), California, Colorado, and probably a few others I have forgotten (forgive my chemo brain please). I truly think you have gotten God's attention and he/she is exclaiming: "who is this Dan Patterson guy who all these people are making such a fuss about?" I do believe in the power of prayer and you, my friends and family, are living proof of it. You give me such strength. thank you.

Ingrid, I'm a sport so here goes: 1st question: Is it a religious or spiritual item?

and as for Doug Kappel: I love you man.

Mrs. Joshwick said...

I thought neutropenia were those furry muskrat looking animals that are taking over the swamps of Louisiana and Texas. Thanks for clearing that up.
Glad to hear you're staving off the severe side effects.
Love you, Mike, your oldest brother
I can't shake Mrs. Joshwick

Brett said...

Godspeed, my friend. The very light cold I had has been gone for 3 days, but I'm going to wait until Friday to come and visit you. I'll call first, but if you approve my visit, beware! Too much fun might just be had. Glad to see you in good spirits.

Ingrid said...

You're soooooooooooooo great. I never thought you would be in the mood to play, and here you are, already with your first question. I have such a big smile on my face, you should see it. :-)
So let's play!
I'm kind of sorry now, maybe even ashamed, to say that it is not a religious and not a spiritual gift. Or at least that was my first thought. But then I thought, ok, it is not a spiritual thing, but it definitively is something that I hope and I'm pretty sure, will cheer up your spirit, filling it with lots of positive thoughts for the future and lots of beautiful memories from the past (at least for that little I know you).
Waiting for your next question, which is: ???

Dan said...

Ingrid: question 2: is it a photograph or picture?