Month: October 2006

7 million

Today I started the stem cell harvest process, and I just got word of today’s count: 7 million. We’ll go one more day (tomorrow) so there are enough for 3. Since I expect to live a long time, I want to have those extras on ice for the future. We’re getting them all now so that I won’t have to worry about what future treatments might do to my ability to harvest more later. It’s a big relief to have this done.

We (doc & I) disagree on letting me have a break in treatment for a few months though. He wants me to have my transplant on the 30th, and I want to wait. I called Dr. Durie to talk about this a little, and I know how to present my case to my doctor here now.

Last CBC

Today I had my last CBC before going in for the harvest on Monday morning. I feel ok, but my counts are all lower than ever.

Result Unit Ref range
WBC 0.4 x10^3/uL 4.5 – 10.5
Hgb 9.4 g/dL 11.0 – 18.0
Plt 63.0 x10^3/uL 150 – 450
RBC 3.46 x10^6/uL 4.00 – 6.00

Cytoxan is powerful stuff, eh?

I took the staff at my oncologist’s office some treats today. They’ve been so nice that I wanted to reward them somehow. The treats are not on the neutropenic diet though, so I was unable to sample. :( Oh well, if all goes as planned, there will be plenty of time for that later on.


I’ve been having CBCs every other day. Yesterday (Wednesday), my WBC was just .5! I’ve never had a low WBC before. My HGB was up to 10.1, I think. That’s good. Still lower than it’s ever been, but I know it’s only temporary.

Sunday night I’ll go to the Hawthorne Inn and check in, so I can be on time for my stem cell harvest (day 1) Monday at 8:00. There’s no being late for a stem cell harvest!

Home now

I’m home now. I’ve been home since Friday evening. I feel pretty well, but very, very tired. My Hgb is low, for the first time since I’ve known I have myeloma. . It’s been borderline low, before, but only 11.3. Now it’s 9.3. For some, that seems good, I know, so I’m not complaining.

The thing that’s most annoying is the triple lumen catheter. I feel it there every waking minute. I supposed it will take some getting used to. The harvest is the 16th, so I have to put up with it until at least then, right?

Thanks, Emily, for visiting me in the hospital and bringing the Lifesavers. The little drawing was cute, too. I would expect no less from someone who carries crayons in her pocket. :)

Again, I want to thank Joyce for getting me there and getting me through it. I think it might have been too hard, had you not been there! Thank you!

And thanks to Kelly, Mary, Cathy, Karen and all the staff who were there to help along the way. Dr. T., I’m glad I got to meet you.

Going for number three

Pretty soon I’ll be having my third dose of Cytoxan for today. It looks like it says 2925 mg. I’ll have to ask, to be sure. I’ll also have my Ativan, and to help with a headache I have, some Tylenol.

The psychologist just stopped by to see me. I remember reading someplace that all the specialists who poke their heads in your hospital room door get to bill you a tidy sum for their visits. I’ll have to look at my bill to see what the charges are.

I’ll stop writing now, because I have a headache. It’s annoying, but not severe. I’ve found that the time lapse between asking for meds and getting them can be 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. I should have asked hours ago.

Zofran, Zofran, Zofran

I just had 3 tablets of Zofran. This is what Chris had told me is the “Rolls Royce” of anti-emetics. My chemo is set to start at 10:00 AM, which is a little more than an hour from now. I’ve been told by a few people that this isn’t going to be so terrible, and I’ll be ok.

It’s 10:40 AM now, and my Cytoxan/Mesna has been started. The Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) will go for an hour. It has such a charming name, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t chemo have pleasant and yummy sounding names to go along with the happy, smiling people in the ads? The Mesna will drip for 24 hours, and when that runs out, I’ll have about 6 hours more. I will get to leave here about 5 PM tomorrow (Friday, October 6). I just asked for some Ativan so I could be a little bit more calm. I actually asked for a bowl of them, but I’m pretty sure I’ll just get one.

The “lunch lady” just came around to see what I want for lunch. I’m so nervous that I can’t imagine eating. I ordered cream of mushroom soup and bottled water.

Black River Falls

I just finished Black River Falls, by Ed Gorman. I think I need to buy all of his books now. This one was good. It was a fast read and kept my attention. I really haven’t been able to read much since I took thalidomide. I was fortunate enough to have an autographed copy, sent to me by Ed. Check out his bibliography.

Right now, I’m listening to Freakonomics on my iPod.