Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good counts, scheduling info, trip to L.A!

Lots of good news today. To start, I went in for blood work yesterday and got my latest counts. My platelets have settled down a bit from their high of 450 last week and are right smack in the middle of the normal range now, at 250. My white blood cell counts are at 4.5, which is smack dab in the middle of normal as well. Woohoo! Though there are still some blasts in the peripheral blood, which is concerning. I've updated the graphs in the right-hand column. Hemoglobin and hematocrit are still slightly under normal, which is surprising given how much energy I've had lately. For example, yesterday I walked 4 miles and have been doing sit-ups and push-ups each night for the last few days. Part of my recent exercise kick is that I feel like I've been given a new body and I want to see what it can do. Kind of like when you buy a new car. After my walks I feel like I could easily go a few more miles. I can't imagine how much energy I'll have if these counts actually get into the normal range.

Another reason I like walking these days is that apart from being relaxing, it gives me an excuse to listen to my podcasts and audiobooks. I realized that listening to my podcast gives me something to do while walking, and walking gives me something to do while listening to my podcast. Either activity on its own to me is relatively boring. I can't listen to a podcast on the couch since it feels wasteful. And if I'm out walking with nothing else to keep me occupied, I'll start thinking of somewhere else I want to be or something else I want to do and will end the walk pretty quickly. It also helps to have several hours of unstructured free time :)

Yesterday the transplant coordinator called about getting me re-admitted into the transplant program. Last week I called to put myself back on their radar, but it wasn't necessary at all. The intake doctor knew all about me and the team was up to date on my progress so far. That was really nice to hear. Those guys are super organized. She also gave me a rough schedule and a tentative transplant date, assuming the inflammation in my lungs is cleared up by next week (keep your fingers crossed). But if all goes well it looks like the transplant will be sometime in mid-January. Here's the rough schedule:
  • Dec 18 - Restart transplant program
  • Dec 19 - Meet with attending doctors
  • Dec 22 - Bone marrow biopsy
  • Dec 23 - More testing
  • Dec 24 - More testing
  • Dec 25 - Visit L.A. to visit Jojo's sister and family
  • Dec 29 - Back from L.A.
  • Jan 6 - Transplant team makes go/no-go decision on transplant
  • Jan 8 - Hickman line (like PICC line, but goes in your chest)
  • Jan 13 - Start chemo to wipe out existing marrow
  • Jan 19 - Transplant!

It's a tight schedule except for the first week in January, and it worked out perfectly with our already scheduled trip to L.A. to visit Johanna's family. I'm really looking forward to this trip to be able to get away from Seattle for a few days. And going somewhere with a warm climate and sunshine will be nice. Johanna's sister has a roommate and family already staying with her, so she was awesome enough to treat us to a fancy beach hotel less than a mile from where she lives. How cool is that? It should be a lot of fun :) I'm looking forward to finally meeting other members of the family that I haven't met yet. Johanna has met pretty much most of mine given all the events that happened this last year.

Oh, and the bank reversed the ATM withdrawals that were made after I left my card in the machine, so that's a relief. I'm happy they were so quick about it.


obscurity said...

Dood you go visit people in LA but not the people in Chicago?! Its like a balmy 18° out here with 3" of fresh powder and a gentle 35mph breeze across the frozen tundra!

Glad to hear you are doing so well. That's amazing. One heck of a Christmas present from your oncologist, eh?

MW said...

walks/jogs/runs are a great way to work through all that is happening!! I think they saved my life, or at least my sanity.

sureshk said...

We are heading for LA as well end of this week. May run into you there.