Monday, January 18, 2010

Struggling White Count Leads to Hiding in Basement

First, let me correct a typo in my previous post. My white count as of that date was 1.8, not .8. It remains there. "So what", is the likely response from most of you. But the MM patients who read this will be tuned in to those numbers. My neutrophils were .8 and are now .6. (normal is 1.5 to 7) Neutrophils are the best of the white cells. So, rather than start cycle 3 of revlimid I got a neupogyn shot today to stimulate white cell production. I'm lined up for shots for the next 2 days, then we'll see if I'm ready to start the revlimid. In the meantime I've holed up in the basement to watch sports, westerns and comedies on TV in order to avoid exposure to any nasty bugs.

Given my response to the revlimid and the dipping white count, this could be my last cycle. Then, we'll be on to M.D. Anderson. It is possible I'll go through 2 more cycles, but I'm thinking that's unlikely. IGGs are now at 2000 (down from 4600 at the start) (normal is 700 to 1600) and M protein is now 1.4 (down from 3.2 before we started the steroids this summer). Before the transplant I'll have to go through another week of testing to restage my disease. I also have to be off the revlimid and steroids for 3 weeks or so, so the actual transplant may not commence until March. We're also starting the scheduling for Mike to go through testing and then harvesting of his cells.

Mentally I know Susan and I aren't ready for another 4 months of "treatment" away from home. But then, we weren't ready for any of this, so I guess we'll just pack it up and move on down to Houston for awhile. Her brother Gary is being so nice in his preparations for our "visit", including purchasing a recliner for my comfort. I call him regularly to remind him that he still has time to get out of town before we arrive. What would we do without our families?

Speaking of which, Catherine is threatening to sign up for the Yahoo triathalon team to raise funds for the Leukemia Society. Talk about inspiration! I'll plan on being in NYC in July just to see her finish. Don't let this post put any pressure on you, Catherine. But we're all waiting for your final answer. And since I'm not on facebook you'll have to post that response here.

Both Rifkin and Giralt continue to be very pleased with my response to the revlimid, as are Susan and I. As an aside, I just picked up my refill of 21 days of revlimid. A mere $8,000, which my insurance company and I split. Nothing like meeting my high deductible with one prescription. That's all for now.



Steven L. Ritter said...


I knew it was going to be expensive... but $8,000.00 for one medication...!!!

I'll have to rethink this having M/M...


John said...

I'm wishing you continued smooth sailing with the upcoming transplant.

Your family's support reminds me that we are at our best when things are at their worst.

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

All sounds good to me, except for those white blood cells...
Wish we could be there for Cate in July, but we'll be back in Paris by then. I can't wait to see her in May!
Bises, S.