Friday, March 14, 2008

Trial Drug, First Labs

I went into the local clinic this morning for a blood draw. They faxed the results to me this afternoon. Here is a table showing several CBC values on three different dates:

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

The three counts with a "minimum" value are the 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 so far so good - these tests don't show a convincing drop in any of the three critical counts. They were performed at three different laboratories: Minnesota Oncology (MOHPA), Mayo, and Stillwater Medical (SMG), so they may not even compare very well. Indeed, the different laboratories do have different reference ranges for many of the counts. However, the next two blood draws will be at SMG, so those should be comparable. Even so, I know that my WBC bounces all over the place, ranging from 3.7 to 5.6 in the past 18 months, so one dip may not be of great concern; it's the longer-term trend that will matter.

Recent breakfast: Organic irish oatmeal with organic flame raisins, banana, papaya, organic walnuts, organic ginger, blueberries, organic nonfat milk.

Recent dinner: Wild-caught Alaskan salmon with organic yogurt, organic sweet relish, organic mixed vegetables, watermelon.


  1. Great results Don!
    I'm always very interested in your meals (wonderful pictures, by the way). You should know that on the we, F. and I have breakfast with what I call a 'Don's dish' (a dish prepared with your pictures in mind :-).
    Now, I would like to know how do you prepare salmon with yogurt? I love salmon and didn't know that it was possible to mix it with yogurt...
    many thanks, as always,

  2. It really annoys me that there isn't an international "reference range" for all labs around the world. Lab results differ even within the same city. I have had tests done in three different hospitals in Florence, and thus have three different reference ranges. Is that really necessary? Now I only go to the main hospital lab. At least I have ONE reference range! ;-)
    Your results look good, Don!
    I agree with Sherlock that your food looks absolutely fantastic (kudos to Sunshine and Sweet Pea) although I am not convinced about pineapple on pizza...;-)
    Take care!
    Florence, Italy

  3. Hi Sherlock,

    Sunshine has sent the recipe for the salmon dish to Margaret for forwarding to you. I don't get the email address of people who post comments on my blogs, so I don't believe that we can send it directly.

    I'll post it here too as a comment, but right now the computer with that email is powered off.


  4. Hi Margaret,

    Actually pineapple on pizza is pretty common in this part of the world. We're not real Italians, you see. And I would have thought that the parsnips would be even more questionable. :-) It all goes well under pizza sauce and tasty parmesan cheese. The brown-rice crust is, of course, gluten-free and works very nicely.


  5. Thanks a lot, Don. I'll ask Margaret to let you have my email address, just in case you need it.
    And, of course, supermany thanks to Sunshine :-)