Monday, May 04, 2009

More Good News -- Doing the Happy Dance

I had my oncology appointment this morning. My IgG levels really held this time and were 826! The point of IVIg infusions are to get the level to 700 or above. From 723 to 1865 is considered the normal range at my lab. For over a year, I had to have this infusion every four weeks. Then my levels started holding longer, except for one time, and lately I have been going six weeks. This is amazing that they are this high after six weeks. Therefore, my scheduled infusion for today was canceled! HOORAY!

I have a love/hate relation with IVIg. I love it because it boosts my immune system and keeps most infections away. I went from having at least one new infection a month to only having a couple in a year and a half. I love it because it makes me think of all the wonderful people who took time out of their busy lives to donate blood - it takes 8,000 to 10,000 donors to make enough for ONE treatment. How humbling is that? I hate it because it gives me headaches for days after, although they are not as severe and as often as they were when I first started. I hate it because it is so expensive -- not for me, but for my insurance company. I hate it because it is often in short supply and I wonder if I am taking it away from someone who may need it more than I do. I also hate it because powerful steroids are administered along with it. They keep me awake that entire night, make me gain weight, and make me feel weird for several days -- weirder than my normal weird that is.

Maybe love/hate is too strong a term. How about dislove it? OK, dislike! I really do have a love/dislike relationship with IVIg. No, no... like/dislike that's it. OK, I'll stop now. It just didn't seem right this was a short post.


materialmoose said...

I am glad you did not have to have IGIV today!!! Sorry they make you have headaches. My mom does good when she has hers, no problems as of yet and she is going on a year of having them. I told her she is giving me soooooooo much to look forward to with this CLL stuff.
Have a good day!!!

Donna said...

Congrats John on your good report. It is encouraging.. Donna :)

Mikha'el said...

I can agree with your thoughts on the love hate relationship as I have had similar in my recent year with IVIG. Always seem to wonder about the treatments and if I could see the infections fighting the wall of the IVIG and staying away, it would make the monthly decision easier. Never knowing if the infections would stay away without the treatment makes the mind wonder. Congrats on your good news.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog.
Congratulations on the good news.
Some of the terms I am not familiar with. My husband has just been told he has CLL. It has been caught at an early stage. It's all so new and scary. Thank you for your stories and the humor within.