Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 15

I went into the local clinic this morning for the second weekly blood draw, and received the results by fax. Here is a table showing several CBC values on four different dates:

  MOHPA   Mayo   SMG   SMG
CBC   Dec 26   Mar 3   Mar 14   Mar 21   Minimum
WBC (leukocytes) K/uL 3.9 5.6 4.8 5.8 2.0
NE# (neutrophils) K/uL 2.2 3.5 2.1 2.9 1.0
PLT (platelets) K/uL 188 211 220 245 50
RBC (erythrocytes) K/uL 4.44 4.62 4.50 4.28
HGB (hemoglobin) K/uL 14.4 15.4 14.9 14.3

The top three counts are ones that Mayo is particularly interested in watching, because the CC-4047 trial drug may eventually depress those numbers, as does the analogue drug Revlimid. The minimum counts shown are well below the reference range in each case, and if any of those three counts falls below its minimum the protocol will be changed for me, or, eventually, I could even be dropped from the study.

But no problems yet. The three key counts are all UP, actually. That's very good news.

Red blood count (RBC) is slightly below the reference range, but this has happened before. My RBC is always at the low end. I do wonder why that is - shouldn't a runner's system create EXTRA red cells to carry the oxygen that s/he needs when consuming 700-800 calories per hour? Guess not, in my case, but if it did then maybe I could run faster :-) Anyway, hemoglobin (HGB) is nicely within the reference range, so I'm not concerned.

My doctor ordered two extra tests this time: (1) Prothrombin time (PROTIME) with International Normalized Ratio (INR). This is a measure of the time it takes for the blood to clot under specific laboratory conditions. PROTIME is specific to the particular laboratory and the conditions that it sets, and INR is calculated from the result based on those conditions. Happily, my INR is 1.0 and PROTIME is 9.9, very close to the center of the reference range for this lab; and (2) Partial Thromboplastin Time, for which the result was 26.9, also quite normal. No warfarin for me unless a clot shows up.

Dexamethasone tonight - I should be on my game tomorrow!

This morning's breakfast: Irish oatmeal with organic flame raisins, Sunshine's teff bread with dates and nuts, dried dragon fruit, organic walnuts, Don's nut/fruit/berry mix, banana, organic nonfat milk.

Today's lunch: Organic brown rice pasta with homemade organic pasta sauce and parmesan cheese, naval orange, organic vegetable mix, organic pure pomegranate juice.

Recent dinner: Free-range no-hormone no-antibiotic bison, clementine, organic squash with organic salsa, Sunshine's teff bread with dates and nuts, local honey, organic sweet corn, Dove dark chocolate.


  1. Hi Don,
    Your numbers are looking pretty darn good! I'm so happy for you! Keep up the good work! Donna

  2. Don -- Your blog is great -- And I love your charts with the hi/low's marked! cool