Day +4092: When are you gonna come down?


“…When are you going to land?…”

Chemo cycle six has stormed by. It started on 31 January and halted early but deliberately on 4 February. Karen and her doctor decided to return to the five day Vidaza protocol based on the status of her blood counts. The counts you ask – nothing really horrible and at the same time nothing really great. Six months into treatment, however, it can lead to a spiral of questions. Hold that thought. A plus was Karen not needing transfusions to start the cycle or the subsequent week.

31 Jan / 4 Feb Blood Counts (all below normal)
White Blood Count: 2.71 / 2.07
ANC: 0.81 / 0.50
Red Blood Count: 2.91 / 2.63
Hemoglobin: 10.0 / 9.0
Hematocrit: 30.7 / 28.7
Platelets: 141 / 130

At the same time, the weather gods only threw snow and ice at us two days of the journey to Hopkins – guess we needed the distraction. … but, this distraction thing got a bit out of hand; I claim the house got hit by a water witch – we now have a new hot water heater and a new motor unit in the dishwasher but got away with only having to reset the washer electronics. All gave up the ghost on the same day. Yup, water witch.

“….The wild and windy night, that the rain, washed away
Has left a pool of tears, crying for the day
Why leave me standing here, let me know the way…”


Karen had to restart prophylactic antibiotics. This is disappointing in two ways. The straightforward one is having to take antibiotics again. The second is slightly more nefarious in that she is having some trouble already with food tasting wrong. We’ve avoided going back on the shakes so far. Weakness, fatigue, spasms, constipation, neuropathy – well you get the idea; all the chemo side effects/joys are present for duty.

Karen’s next Olympic event is the bone marrow biopsy scheduled for 25 Feb. We become less optimistic about these biopsies, which used to be the barometer of where the disease stood currently and served as a compass for the treatment plan. The fibrosis in her bones seems to be advanced to the stage where getting a marrow sample good enough to analyze has flip of a coin odds or worse.

“…’Til you die?
Oh, ’til you die
They shouted …”


Chemo cycle seven looms on the horizon – 1st week of March. Karen continues to persevere, to enjoy each day in this path of twist and turns. She weathered the emotional doldrums and gales of last September through November.

A bone marrow transplant is once a again the only option for true cure, or donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) to reset her marrow production. Neither is currently in the forecast as the road of chemo must first land at remission (Purgatory on earth in a sense).

Day at a time.

Cheers,
Michael

Also, Thank you Cathy … comment did not go unnoticed.

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