Monday, April 15, 2013

The Unexpected


On Tuesday I got 2 units of blood.  I was in the infusion center so it went smoothly.  

On Wednesday I had the appointment with Dr. Cripe.  First order of business for the appointment was, of course, a blood draw.  The results were hemoglobin  8.1, platelets: 23 and white cells: 1.6. Not a great reading, for sure. We talked after the results and he said there had been no change in my blood so continuing the Vidaza was a waste of time.  I was concerned that I had fallen into the AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) and asked if he would be able to see that in my blood tests.  He commented that he would and when I asked if he thought I had he said no.  Relief there.  But, he said since the Vidaza was not working the option left for me was a hospitalization with chemo, I believe for 30 days.  I know the odds of that being a good thing, so I was scared, but I knew I had to do it.   He then did the bone marrow biopsy, which was as horrible as I remembered, and let me go home to wait for his Friday call telling me the results of the biopsy and when the new treatment would start.  My 'blasts' were 14% in December.  That figure put me in the 3rd stage of the disease, High Risk MDS. AML is 20% blasts.  Normal is 0 - 3% blasts.

I spent Thursday getting mentally prepared for his call. I was also thinking about what I needed to get done before the treatment , prepare for the worst perhaps.

Friday morning was my 'blood day' at the center.  Hemoglobin: 7.9; Platelets: 20.  I know where that is going, DOWN.  Same old thing............  There was nothing to do but wait for 'the call' for the rest of the day.  Long day it was!  No call.  In my mind the dialog went like this: He had a busier day that he planned.  He got called away.  He was unable to get me a room in IU just yet.   It was so bad he didn't want to ruin my weekend.  He was abducted by aliens. . .   Ok, that was a stretch.  I knew he wasn't in on Saturday, so I relaxed and decided I was lucky to have the weekend.

Saturday morning I was relaxed when the phone rang.  It was him!  He quietly told me he had the results and they were surprising.  My blasts were 3%!  That is in the normal range!!  He said even though my blood work did not reflect any change, the treatment had worked beneath the surface.  My bone marrow had responded.  He told me a Dr. Nelsons office would be calling, setting up an appointment to get ready for the bone marrow transplant.

So quick and unexpected!  I will be talking to Dr. O on Wednesday and I hope my brain kicks in so I can ask intelligent questions!