jm's Adventure with Multiple Myeloma: Labs Plummet and a Platelet Transfusion - March 24 2012

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Labs Plummet and a Platelet Transfusion - March 24 2012

Jani and I left for UCH at sunrise for our 8:15 AM appointment at UCH. It takes us just over an hour to make the trip one way.
They drew my blood out of my PICC Line. It is nice to have line so I don't have to worry about how many pokes it will take to access my blood. We had to wait a LONG TIME for the blood results to come back. I was cozy in the recliner...
 and Jani in the chair...not so much...
My white blood cell is even more CRITICALLY LOW than it was March 22 2012 at 0.5 (norms 4-11.1). My platelets are just 17 (norms 150-400) which will require a platelet transfusion this morning. My hemoglobin hanging in there at low, but okay at 11.0 (norms 12.1-16.3). My absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is dangerously low at 0.3 (norms 1.8-7.8). So, I'm wearing the mask!

The wait for the lab values was probably because they could not do an auto-differential (done with a machine) on the complete blood count (CBC) since there were so FEW white blood cells. It required a peripheral smear which is done by hand via a microscope. My Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) is CRITICALLY low at 0.3 (norms 1.8-7.8) so I have to be extra cautious not be exposed to anything.
 My comprehensive metabolic panel was good overall.
 My LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) was good at 117 (norms 98-192).
My serum protein and albumin are getting back to normal which indicates that I am eating well despite my raw gastrointestinal  tract.
They ordered my platelets and RN Christine was very organized and ready to hang them. The platelets that I received today were obtained from a volunteer donor who went through apheresis (hooked to a machine that takes your blood out and separates the platelets from the other components and then replaces the other components back in to the donor). 
It is only suppose to take about 15 minutes for platelets to run in by gravity, but for some reason, mine took more like 45 minutes. I declined the Benadryl that they usually pre-medicate patients receiving transfusions with, but I took the pre-medication Tylenol (650 mg).
RN Christine cautioned me not to bump or cut myself, avoid dental floss, brush with a soft toothbrush, and to call if I got a nose bleed.

We left UCH around 11 AM and drove back o Greeley - I snoozed in the back of Bart on the way home. I don't have to return to UCH until Tuesday, March 27 2012. Hopefully, the Neulasta injection that I received March 22 2012 will have kicked in by then. The Neulasta has certainly caused my back and rib to ache.


  1. Jim McClure - Akron, OhioMarch 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Having been a platelet donor for some years, I can attest to the ease of the apheresis donation process, and would encourage any whole blood donors - and non-donors! - who may read this to try donating platelets.

  2. I am no expert but it seems like quite a few MM folks have this kind of low dip after the auto STC and then with a series of fine-tuning of medications are able to get their numbers stabilized again. Intending this is happening for you and your medical team is finding the right combination of elements to help you manage and see improving health as spring approaches in the NW.

  3. Thanks Jim for your platelet donations. Volunteers are essential in this disease. jm