Here's a quick update on what's been happening:
- Since the platelet transfusion the counts jumped up to 48 and have been steadily dropping since, which is expected since the lifetime of platelets is only a week or so, but they're hanging in there for the most part. On Monday after the transfusion the counts were at 48, Wednesday - 40, Friday - 28 and last Monday - 22. If they drop below 10 again we'll need to do another transfusion so I'm hoping they'll hover somewhere above that for a while.
- Tomorrow we have a consultation with a naturopathic oncologist. I'm looking forward to this, since I think we're pretty well covered in the area of medicine and treatments but Johanna and I feel like there is a big gap with everything else we should be doing, like what kinds of food I should be eating, what types of excercise and activity we should be doing, and in general what kinds of natural things can we do that might help. For example, I read recently that eating pineapple can help stimulate the growth of platelets, and is the only food known to do so. Apart from a clinical trial there is also no known drug that can stimulate the growth of platelets which is why they're particularly hard to manage. What's interesting is that several months ago (before I was diagnosed), I rediscovered pineapple and fell in love with it, and raved about it to my friends. So maybe it's not a coincidence and my body was trying to tell me something. Anyway, the oncologist we're seeing has spent the last 10 years specializing in naturopathic cancer care and is familiar with MDS so it should be interesting to hear what he recommends. For more info, click here and read about Mark Gignac.
- Thursday I go in for another CBC (complete blood count) test. Last week I got poked 4 times (Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri), 3 times for routine CBC checks, and once for more HLA typing for the donor search. When I go in for blood work I call it my "red shirt day", since I wear red shirts on that day to let my friends and coworkers know I'll be out for a little bit giving blood. Yesterday I had to wear one of Johanna's red shirts since I'd run out!
- Friday we start another round of chemotherapy, this one lasting 5 days. I know what to expect this time and how to manage some of the side-effects, so it shouldn't be too bad. Though I still have the bruises on my belly from last time (the injections are subcutaneous and injected into your belly fat). I expect to look like a pincushion after the next round, heh.
- Finally, my parents have decided to rent an apartment in Seattle, which is really great. They'll still keep their house in Albuquerque, but they'll stay up here for the next 6-9 months to be near my sister and I. What's cool is that they managed to find a huge and really nice apartment less than a mile from our house, which is "coffee distance", meaning it's close enough to stop by for coffee in the morning or after work so we're really excited about that. It's great having family close by, and I can tell they're excited too.