Don’t get too carried away – I’m not getting discharged from the hospital immediately, but soon-ish. We are watching my blood numbers for positive signs of recovery so that I can go home and get more rest – physical, spiritual and emotional.
Key indicators will be the return of my platelets which are progressing nicely on their own; stabilize the hemoglobin – which is coming along, but doesn’t show enough positive trend yet; I need ANCs to leave the hospital – that’s my immune system. Now, on Sunday, we got a count of 420 ANCs which was very encouraging, but then today it came back as 0. Inevitably, miscounts may happen, which is why we need to watch for trends. For the ANCs, over 500 and I’m no longer neutropenic; closer to 1,000 will give the hospital much more confidence to discharge me. Then there’s the white blood cells. They are starting to inch up but there’s no real trend yet.
This is going to take time – my doctor thinks that we’ll see things start to trend up this week so that hopefully next week there’ll be a point that I can return to my own apartment in Philadelphia and prepare for the next round of chemo.
I have seen a lot of family and friends over the past few days and have received many emails, voice mails, comments on the blog especially about the bone marrow transplant. Thank you everyone for getting the word out and for helping to save lives … I had little appreciation for what something like that truly meant until I was here; and when I get out, it will be my number one priority to continue to help other recover from this illness, whether through supporting bone marrow registry drives, visiting hospitals, or volunteering to help out through the American Cancer Society’s many support programs. (Did you know they have a free service called Road to Recovery? My dad’s friend, Gail, told me about this one. A volunteer will come and pick you up either at your house or when you’ve finished outpatient chemo and drive you home so that you don’t have to battle the side effects of chemo and get home? This is an incredible thing. And it’s meant for all cancer patients.)
More to come soon.
Strength and Love,
Filed under: General update