Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Numbers

Just returned from the 3 hour visit to the clinic. My platelets are recovering nicely and it looks very much like I will not need a platelet transfusion, which is unusual (not to have one). On the other hand, the white counts still linger at a low level, but not neutropenic. Dr. Rifkin believes the white counts will soon follow the platelets on the upward trend. Potassium continues to be low so I continue to receive the IVs and am eating potassium rich foods. We received the first report of the myeloma numbers post transplant, although very preliminary. They were trending upward before the transplant (around 3000). Today's report is they are at 2440. (these are the Igg numbers that we were tracking throughout my chemo in April, May). Rifkin feels good about the number, we are not so enthused, but we know it is early and the trend is in the right direction. (at some point in late June we had the Iggs at 1100, but that got derailed with all the nonsense I went through at that time with my back and other problems) An increase in my white count might help kill any myeloma remaining, as well. We'll only really know when the bone marrow biopsy is done in a month or two. Next appointment is Friday--more blood work, more potassium.

My brother Mike is arriving this weekend for his 3rd visit since my diagnosis. We always seem to find something for him to do around the house so he isn't bored. It will be nice to see him again and I must say again, my family has been tremendous through this journey. Love to all, Dan


Ingrid said...

Hello Dan and all the bloggers, funny to write you here on the blog now, now, that I only have to go over and see you.
Yes you're right, your family has been tremendous, I got to know your sister, and she was great, nice, sweet and loving, but you know, it is YOU who is the most tremendous one in this journey, it is all about YOU !!!
You're such a wonderful person, and I got to know you only a year and 3 month ago, how lucky all the bloggers that have known you for so much longer.
You're brave and patient, and that's what you need right now. The war is not over yet, but the first biiiiiig battle is done, and we are all so proud of you.
You went through this first battle so incredibly well, with so much courage and so much love, we only try to give you back a tiny little of the love, that YOU give us !!!

And again, Susan, you're just the best !!!

I love you,

Arlene said...

Good Morning,

I haven't blogged in a few days because I had to figure out how to get you and Jessica off my blog-in first!

Just wanted to say hi. Your numbers are going in the right direction, slow but sure. Be patient and keep being positive.

Love and miss you all lots,


Molly said...

You are doing so great through all of this. Don't worry to much about your numbers. Keep thinking positive thoughts, resting and getting strong. I'm sending you warm thoughts and much love.


Brother Ted said...

I thought that the following might explain why the healthy production of platelets is such a positive sign for Dr. Rifkin.

Platelets are cells that clot blood at the site of wounds. They do this by adhering to the walls of blood vessels, thereby plugging the rupture in the vascular wall. They also can release coagulating chemicals which cause clots to form in the blood that can plug up narrowed blood vessels. There are more than a dozen types of blood clotting factors and platelets that need to interact in the blood clotting process. Recent research has shown that platelets help fight infections by releasing proteins that kill invading bacteria and some other microorganisms. In addition, platelets stimulate the immune system. Individual platelets are about 1/3 the size of red cells. They have a lifespan of 9-10 days. Like the red and white blood cells, platelets are produced in bone marrow from stem cells.

It is the stimulation of the immune system that is so important as Dan's body begins to destroy the remaining Myeloma.

Also as a plug for something that I think is so easy and so important, head off to your local blood bank and donate blood products. I began donating platelets many years ago when a co-worker was dealing with leukemia. I reached the 12 gallon mark just last week. There is such a great feeling when you see the technicians head off with that little bag of platelets and you know that someone will be getting some help towards their healing. If you don't have time (around 2 hours) donate plasma or whole blood. You can be in and out in under 45 minutes.

As always let me say how tremendous all of you are and how much your attention to Dan's progress contrubutes to his continuing return to health.