Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Put the Horse Back in the Stable

This will be a relatively short post – well, short for me. Haven’t been many of those in the last 108 posts! I had my blood drawn in preparation for next Monday’s oncology appointment. I have two nice black and blue marks in the crook of my arm as he had trouble hitting a vein. He dug around a lot. I may recommend him to my son-in-law, the oil driller. I told him to use the port in my chest and he said they don’t like to if they don’t have to because there is more danger of introducing bacteria and causing an infection. So instead he just kept wiggling the needle around inside and then moved it over a couple inches and wiggled some more until he finally got it. I hope when I am out and about somebody doesn’t look at my track marks and stop me and ask where they can score.

I waited for my results and prayers were answered. They were very good! My levels have been climbing fairly rapidly since December, but in the last five weeks they barely moved at all and a few even got better. White count jumped only 500 (.5). Percent of lymphocytes dropped to 83.1%, down from 84.6% last month (normal is 19% - 48%). Absolute Lymphocytes only climbed 100 (.1), which is negligible. Lymphocytes are what were causing me the most concern. Granulocytes are still low, but have climbed .4 and are almost up to normal. Platelets climbed to 128, not far from low normal. I do wonder if the platelets rushed to the crook of my arm to stop the bleeding from his first exploratory dig. I don’t know if it works that way or not. Red cells were up to normal and everything else on the WBC was in the normal range! This is a crazy disease, but I’ll take these results for sure. I won’t have the results of my IgG level for a few days, but if they stayed up, I will be able to skip my IVIg infusion next Monday. That would be icing on the cake!

Just like when the counts are moving rapidly in the wrong direction, we can’t put much stock in one test, but rather look at the overall trend. However, if this trend continues and I remain stable for the next couple of tests, this intermission just might last a while longer and we can return chemotherapy to the back burner. Putting stock in this can’t be any worse than what our 401k stocks have done in the last two years.

This happened a little over a year ago when things had been progressing and then suddenly stabilized. That lasted for about ten months or so. I’ll take it again.

I need to order some more hay. I could be bedding down in the stable for quite some time and I need to be prepared. If nothing else, I can always hide under it if the swine flu invades our area. Pigs don’t eat hay, do they?


Anonymous said...

Rejoicing with you, John, over your improved lab results. Take a deep breath, utter words of praise, and LIVE LIFE FULLY. He has you cradled in His arms.

Honey said...

I have SLL on the back of my tongue as a side effect of CLL, and it is the only thing that causes me any concern. It is painful enough for me to take Tylenol several times a day and I have difficulty swallowing things like tablets, but it has never been treated. I have regular CAT scans to see if it grows, but I still don't understand what it means. You are the first person I have heard of who also has this. but you don't mention where it is and how it affects you. Could you email me and give me more information about SLL and its relationship to CLL?

Laurie Dillard

John Wagner said...

Laurie, I don't have your email address and when I click on your name, it says your profile is private. Please send me an email to jtw890(at sign)aol(dot)com. I didn't put it all together in the normal manner because automatic systems scan for email addresses and then I get a whole bunch of spam.

My SLL is in my lymph nodes throughout my body - neck all around, chest, stomach, groin, even behind the knees. I light up like a Christmas tree on a CT Scan. For many folks it is localized in one area, but not mine. I have never heard of it on the tongue before. Doesn't sound pleasant. Has anyone suggested radiation for that one area?

Email me and we can discuss it further. I'll try to help as much as I can.