Saturday, September 10, 2011

Go cells go

I received some very good news this morning, which is that my ANC is above 500! The ANC (absolute neutrophil count) refers to a specific type of infection-fighting white blood cell. Any number under 500 is neutropenic, which means a high risk of infection. Anything above 500 decreases the concern about infections. So while my immune system is still compromised (I'm sort of like an unvaccinated infant right now), it's now safe for me to:

a) leave the room wearing a mask to walk around the floor
b) start taking less antibiotics and other infection-preventing meds
c) begin the process to get me out here to home!

It's still going to be a few days, but the focus is now on preparing me to leave, and that's really exciting!

Not to mention, each day my counts have climbed I have felt better! My mouth healed very quickly, so much so that it's nearly normal today. Other issues are resolving at a more sedate pace, but overall every day brings with it less and less problems and pain.

This is probably by far the most cheerful post ever to this blog. Getting the news this morning has put me in an extremely good mood and I wanted to share with everyone while I'm still excited. Let's hope the next post is about going home.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day +8

This blogging thing has really not worked out so well for me in here, has it? This is going to be a very short update, because I've tried more ambitious ones a half-dozen times with no success.

It's Day +8, meaning it's day 8 since I was infused with my stem cells. That's how we count around these parts.

I'm alive, feeling mostly decent, had some very rough spots but mostly it's gone better than I expected. Isolation's really not so bad, I keep myself entertained with relative ease. New MacBook Pro (!) helps quite a bit.

On pain meds for mucositis pain, so I'm a little bit woozy and I spend much time sleeping. But the pain's nice and under control, so that's what matters, right?

My counts may actually be starting to rebound already, I have to have more than one day in a row for us to rule out a fluke but the docs are optimistic that the boost we saw this morning is the real thing. It's pretty early for this to happen, so if it's true I'm pretty darn excited, since it means my recovery and exit times will both be on the shorter side. I could be out here for my R&R at home before the next transplant fairly soon. Plus, the higher my counts go the better I feel, which, you know, good!

I'm going to cut myself off now so you actually have a chance of seeing this published. I'll try to update again before I leave the hospital, but obviously, I make no promises. Just know that all things considered, I'm doing okay. And don't be afraid to gchat/skype with me! I won't leave them open if I'm not up for a little chatting.