Monday, May 07, 2007

White Count Rebound

We had a nice visit with Rifkin today. The blood work was only of the basic tests, not the myeloma numbers--the blood work is known as a CBC or Complete Blood Count. Remember, my white count was very low 2 weeks ago? Well, the white count has rebounded and is now in the normal range. Even more encouraging to me was the fact that the hematocrit is back up. Hematocrit measures the number of red cells and the size of the red blood cells. The number is expressed in a percentage. Low hematocrit is associated with a number of disorders, including multiple myeloma. My hematocrit has never been normal since my blood work was first done in March 2005---until now! It has hovered in the low 30% range, but started to rise a few months ago, only to drop last month. Today, for the first time in 2 years, my hematocrit is in the normal range (42% for the scientists among you bloggers). Now, this doesn't mean I don't have myeloma, as we know those numbers have been rising, but it does mean that at least for the time being I continue to hold my own. This was the best CBC I have had since all this nonsense started, so we're feeling pretty good today. The roller coaster ride is being nice to us today.

We also had a chat with Dr. Mattous, who now heads the transplant program at the cancer center. He was also very encouraging, telling us that they are testing a number of new drugs that appear to be very promising. He said Rifkin will talk to us about them when it is time to restart chemo. The drugs don't have names yet, only numbers assigned, so I don't know what they're looking at. All in all it was a nice visit.

We canceled our planned trip to New York a few weeks ago, as I was just too tired and, with the immunosuppression, was very concerned about picking up some bug, or tiring myself out with all the travel. We were so sorry to miss seeing Arlene and Jimmy, as well as Sigun and Joe, and our other friends in East Hampton, Alexandra and Karen, but felt compelled to be safe.

The girls, including Susan, are headed to Palm Springs in a few weeks for the annual girls Memorial Day Weekend. Eileen treated the group to a trip to Scottsdale last year. This year she has reserved a suite in Palm Springs and the girls bagged some cheap fares to San Diego, so off they go for a long weekend (or is it a week) in the sun.

I, on the other hand, will be going home to see my mother during that weekend, now that I'm no longer immunosuppressed. I haven't been back to Dickinson in 7 years, so it's about time. Mom, of course, is ecstatic. Dickinson is full of so many friends who have been praying for me, calling, sending cards, and emailing during these past 2 years. I, too, am excited to be going home.

Every day I count my blessings for my life and for all of you in my life who have carried us through this difficult time. You have shown me that the love of family and friends is truly a very powerful force.

Much love to all,


George Gagnon said...

Nice to hear your great news! Say hi to Big Joannie for us.

Brother Ted said...

Okay my friend, I have reset my account so now I can begin to interact with you again. I know, I have been sending you emails because I couldn't remember how to log on, so it really isn't true when I say that I can begin to " interact with you again." Anyhow, I think the numbers are great. I can also say that from the times we have been together, you are looking great, you are acting the same as always, so I can only conclude that you are on to of this disease and will continue to amaze the doctors.

Brother Ted said...

A note to George: Where in the hell have you been? Your old open school friends often ask, "Anyone know what happened to George?" "No, I hear he might be in California." "Did any of you ever read his dissertation?" "Yes, I read it, I think he might have been on to something." "Really?"