Thursday, April 29, 2010

Preliminary results are in

Nurse K at Dr. Hema's office just called with my blood test results and they are great! The M-spike reading is 0.3 which she described as normal.

Pardon me, I just have to repeat that again: M-spike is normal. I love the sound of that! M-spike...normal. Normal.

She also said the IgM number is now 359, which is getting close to the normal range of 62 - 263. It has been a high as a sobering 5,000!

M-spike and IgM numbers that are not just high but sky-high are the primary indicators of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. To see them recede to normal or, at least near normal, is great news!

As my friend N said, hey, I might just beat this thing!

I still have to meet with Dr. Hema on Monday to discuss not only these results, but also the results of the CT scan. I am no doctor, but I imagine the good news will continue. Of course, I am realistic, there is no known cure for lymphoma. It can be brought to remission, but, if one lives long enough, it always returns. It may return in a year or five years or ten years. It may be brought to remission with a further round of treatments, giving another short or long period of normal life; or it may not. Every case is unique.

I am very happy with the news I have received so far! Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blood test and CT scan

This morning, I made yet another trip to my local physician's office for blood tests. This test includes the IgM and M-spike tests which are a pretty clear indication that something, such as lymphoma, is amiss. The other clear indicator is looking at the result a CT scan with and without contrast and I also had that today.

I will then see Dr. Hema on May 3 to learn the result. Of course, I hope to hear that my numbers are perfect and that I am in remission. However, I am fully aware that every case is unique and I am prepared for any result. Nevertheless, please join me in crossing our fingers and toes and let's hope and pray for a great result.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blood test results

On Monday, I went to my local doctor for regularly scheduled tests. They are taken here and faxed to Dr.Hema. His nurse called yesterday afternoon to report that the hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelet counts were, in Dr. Hema's words, low but safe.

I had been told previously by Dr. Hema that an expected result was that, as the fludarabine killed the lymphoma-bearing B cells, these factors would be lowered in response. So, hearing 'low but safe' is an entirely expected result.

I feel very well; I have more energy than I had a few months ago and I feel that my color is greatly improved. As I have reported before, my weight is certainly improved; perhaps a bit too much! Today's weight was 182.

Gosh, I sure miss the pecan waffles!

On April 26th, I go for the next round of blood tests and a CT scan. We will have more information to gauge my hopeful recovery then.

A very happy birthday to my adorable wife who has been my pillar of strength and encouragement throughout all of this. I love you, dear!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Woo hoo!

We just finished the last infusion of my six-month long fludarabine regimen!

I said, "we." My adorable wife went along for every treatment, sat in the room to comfort me and has every bit as much treatment room mileage as me. She was with me for the highs and lows and never failed to smile and be as supportive and as helpful as anyone could ever expect. I am glad this is over for her, and for me. I am a very lucky man to have her in my life.

All of the staff at Dr. Hema's pierce-a-torium were so nice, so kind and so understanding. My special thanks and appreciation go to Nurse P and Nurse B. Dr. Hema is very lucky to have a staff of professionals who are also great at getting a smile or a chuckle out of most every patient. I am very lucky to have this great team of people working very hard to make my life longer, healthier and happier.

As we left to head for a late lunch or early dinner, I was struck by the day I was given. It was a glorious day with newly blooming dogwoods, cherry trees, wisteria, tulips and pansies. The temperature was perfect and the sky was cobalt blue, so we went to My Big Fat Pricey Mall and had a wonderful meal sitting outdoors. Life is good!

Next are blood tests two and four weeks from now and a CT scan. We are quite confident that we may hear the R-word in there soon.