My Papa used to say, "You win some. You lose some. And sometimes it's a draw." I'm also thinking that sometimes it is all three combined and you don't really wind up with a draw.
First, the good news. I feel good. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But since before Christmas there have been very few days that I can say I felt good. I've felt OK some days, but not good. So good is good. My red counts are the highest they've been since I was in Italy. I got 2 units of red cells on Friday, but that is still good. It's already 67° here and the sun is shining. That's good! I hate winter, so this is very good for my psyche. I'm focusing on the good.
Next, the bad news. My neutrophil count is 0.1. Not as bad as 0.0, but this is NOT a good thing. I have been neutropenic since before Christmas. It turns out this is a scary thing. Much scarier than I realised. When a person has been neutropenic for more than 20 days, their chances of catching something/anything are greatly increased. And the longer they are neutropenic, the worse it gets.
Neutropenic is when the neutrophil count of the white blood cells is below 0.5. (Neutrophils are the part of the white cells that actually fight infections and give you immunity.) It's why I can't go anywhere, have to wear a mask when I'm around anyone, shouldn't have fresh flowers, etc., etc., etc. I'm particularly at risk for PCP pneumonia. This is the type of pneumonia that affects AIDS patients and others with severely compromised immune systems. It is a big problem. (Kills people and relatively quickly if not treated right away.) Normally it would be treated preventatively with sulfa drugs. But sulfa drugs suppress your blood counts. Since we are trying to get my blood counts up, we don't want to depress them. Plus, my lymph glands have been a little swollen the last few mornings. No fever, but it's something to watch.
I am allergic to penicillin, so my antibiotic choices are somewhat limited. Today they started me on Dapsone for at least a month or until we see significant white count improvement, and a new round of Levaquin for 14 days.
And more bad news. Well, I guess it's not really news. But I am on Day 8 of the Dacogen treatment cycle. That means I have not yet reached the nadir, so my counts are likely to go even lower.
They tell me I look good. I feel good. Seems to me I ought to BE good. How do you tell? Well, I've just DECIDED to BEA good. The fact that I even have a white count and have the good red count is promising though. So I am seriously asking to please send good vibes, pray, think healthy thoughts, etc. And I'm putting out a challenge for anyone who believes that visualisation works. Here is an image with neutrophils.
If you have a chance or any spare time, please visualise these reproducing and populating my blood stream. More neutrophils is a GOOD THING!
Expected news. My platelet count is 6. I have to get a transfusion today, but the blood bank wouldn't release any platelets until this afternoon. At 1:30 I go to the surgeon to have him look at my port site again. I'm down to a giant bandaid type bandage instead of gauze, tape, etc., so I'm hoping he will release me. After I see him, I go back to get platelets. When I get home I will do my best to stay awake for the home health nurse and then will likely conk out from Benadryl.
Thank you once again to everyone who donates platelets and blood. You all really are a treasure.
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