Sunday, May 24, 2009

Transplant B, Day -3

Uneventful morning. Cold is better, cough almost gone. WBC back up to normal range (6.7) and platelets at 160, which is on the low end of normal, but normal nonetheless. Red blood counts slipping, which is unfortunate as I was hoping to keep them nice and high to keep my energy up. Hemoglobin was 12.6 yesterday and is 11.3 today. : ( If I can keep it above 11, I'll still feel myself, at least. Even above 10 would be good. We'll see what happens.

CRP is down to 6.8 from 9.8, which is good as well. Also, phosphorus went way up back into the normal range. So, essentially, other than my red blood counts everything is normal heading into this. Good good, as my friend Bill Block would say.

I reviewed my pill regimen from the first transplant and I noted that I took senna and docusan both twice a day to ensure regularity while on Thalidomide. I don't think I needed all that, so I'm going to drop it to just the senna and see what happens. Otherwise, I'm maintaining the full complement of everything from last time. I won't go on the Zofran until I need it; right now the Kytril and Emend are working well enough. It was day 3, I think, of the 4 Melphalan administrations last time that started to overwhelm that, so we'll see what happens.

I'm sluggish, and I noticed this morning with my cereal that my taste buds are gone again. It had been probably a week or so since I lost all trace of that horrible vitamin C taste in the back on my mouth. That hasn't come back yet, but there's a marked reduction in the flavor of food. This is fine...if those cells are dying, the cancer cells are dying, too.

Notably, my hair is coming back in. I spoke with Bonnie and she seemed to affirm my observation that the Melphalan didn't cause the hair to fall out -- it was the PACE chemo that did it. It's funny -- in the non-fractionated version of the Melphalan (meaning 200 mg/m2 over one day rather than 4 days of 50 mg/m2) both SF and SH assured me hair loss would occur. Meanwhile my beard has come in pretty full and my scalp is darkening again, and what was stubble is now 1/4 long in many places (or even longer in the case of one 1/2" gray hair that is gonna get tweezed if it steps outta line). It's coming in straight and dark brown, as well, which is good to see.

Now my question vis-a-vis hair is, if the fractionated Melphalan doesn't knock it out, will the dose-reduced PACE in consolidation do it? It would be terrific to have my full hair of hair back in August rather than October! How nice to spend even a moment worried about such trivial things.

I'm looking forward to seeing the next set of tumor markes. I'm not sure the Melphalan will have had time to act by tomorrow, which is when they usually run those labs. The next lab run would probably be Thursday, with results coming on Saturday or Sunday. That magical number will be the M-spike...which hopefully will be gone completely.

It's pouring rain here -- time for a catnap. I hope you and your families and friends are enjoying the long weekend!


Taste buds almost completely gone, stomach ache as well. That means the whole GI tract is going, as it is expected to. That also means the cancer cells are dying! The nurse today was quite nice but she wasn't very good at the Lovenox shot...she went straight into the belly instead of at an angle and she didn't pinch the skin very well -- most of the time I just grimace or hiss quietly as the needle goes in -- this time I yelled "OWWW!" and couldn't help myself. :)

Had spicy Indian food tonight -- last time for a few weeks I will dare try that. And lastly, it's gonna be back to that rotten mouthwash several times a day and night. Just took all my pills and it's off to a fitful sleep...

Have a great Memorial Day everybody!