Day +461: Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm…

Greetings! Sorry I’ve been a little slow with updating the blog. Also, it looks like the “auto notify” feature for subscribers is broken so that no one was notified of my last post either.

I went for my checkup and booster shots at Johns Hopkins on February 16. I must be well – they took only two tubes of blood! They’ve never drawn fewer than 10 in any of my prior visits. My blood counts are looking great aside from a slight elevation of my liver enzymes:

WBC: 6290 (norm 4500.-11000.)
ANC: 2660 (norm 1500.-7800.)
Platelets: 352 (norm 150-350)
RBC: 4.54 (norm 4.00-5.20)
HGB (hemoglobin): 15.3 (norm 12.0-15.0)
HCT (hematocrit): 44.2 (norm 36.0-46.0)
Alkaline phosphatase, S: 211 (norm 25-150)
AST: 85 (normal 0-40)
ALT: 75 (normal 0-40)

I also received the following booster immunizations:

  • Diptheria/Tetanus
  • H. influenzae type b conjugate [bacterial meningitis]
  • Hepatitus B
  • Inactivated polio

I got two shots in each arm. A bonus tune comes to mind: “You had to be a big shot, didn’t you?” Both arms were extremely sore for the next several days. I feel sorry for babies going through this, not even able to comprehend what’s going on, knowing only that someone is hurting them.

The best news was that my next appointment with the transplant doctor isn’t until my two-year checkup on December 2! In the meantime, I’ll continue getting regular blood draws with my local hematologist just to keep a close watch on everything.

We finally chose a kitchen contractor last week, and work is scheduled to begin the first week of April. I’m not looking forward to several weeks (if all goes well) of chaos and construction but the end result should be nice.

Disappointingly, it looks like our winter is about done here with essentially no snow this year. It’s chilly but none of the white stuff is forecast for the next 10 days. Snow later than that is very uncommon here. That’s probably good news for most of you who are looking forward to spring – I know I’m in the minority. I do admit it will be great to see the greenery and flowers replacing all the browns and greys.

I’m sure Michael is eagerly anticipating warmer weather for riding his new “little red bike” – a carnival red Triumph Thunderbird SE motorcycle he got last weekend. We took the older, larger Rocket III in for service and ended up trading it in for a newer, smaller one instead.

This weekend, we’re looking forward to returning to The Dupont Theatre with my sister and brother-in-law for Sunday brunch in the Green Room and La Cage aux Folles starring George Hamilton. It should be fun.

I was recently asked to write a “Story of Hope” for the MDS and Aplastic Anemia website. I’ll let you know if/when it’s published.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for, the Tag Line update, lol.
Day +437: Feelin’ Stronger Every Day, Chicago (no one IDed)


  1. Karen,

    This is all wonderful news and I’m smiling for you and ‘your Mike’ 🙂

    It must feel great to return to a sense of normalcy after the months/years of doc visits and everything associatied with them, a break we can all welcome!

    Hugs to you both,
    Deb and Mike

  2. I’m glad you’re doing so well! Keep it up!

  3. Hi Karen,

    Great to read about your update! Tim and I are almost finished with a major kitchen and bath remodel and can share tips.

    Good Luck!

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