jm's Adventure with Multiple Myeloma: Labs, Blood Transfusion, and a Visit With My Oncologist - April 2 2012

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Labs, Blood Transfusion, and a Visit With My Oncologist - April 2 2012

Jani packed a lunch and snacks for me to take and Ann Henderson drove me to UCH and dropped me off for my 10:30 AM appointment in the BIC. The BIC was hopping busy this morning and every available space (8) was filled. After Autumn did my vital signs and weight (158 with clothes) RN Sarah got my labs drawn from my PICC Line and ordered up the first unit of blood for my blood transfusion this morning.

My labs are all abnormal. My white blood cell count has drifted down again to 1.5 (norms 4-11.1); my hemoglobin is 7.9 (norms 12.1-16.3) and I will be getting 2 units of blood this morning; my platelets are 42 (norms 150-400) is low, but I will not be needing a platelet transfusion this morning.

My Absolute Neutrophil Count is 1.1 (norms 1.8-6.6) so I will continue to be careful by wearing a mask and staying away from crowds.
 My comprehensive metabolic panel is all normal.
 My LDH is a little higher at 101 (norms 98-192) which is fine.
Thankful for blood donors who made my 2 unit blood transfusion possible today! 
Each unit of blood takes about 2 hours to run in via a pump. 
I passed the time by working on my family genealogy with my iPad. I had my lunch and snacks with me that Jani packed for me - so, what could have been a long day in the BIC passed by rather quickly for me. I arrived at 10:20 AM and departed the BIC at 3:15 PM.

 My second unit of Type A blood.

Jani drove to UCH after she finished up at work and met me at the BIC at 3:15 PM. We walked over to the Cancer Center for my doctor's appointment. Walking is sure easier with 2 units of blood on board and my heart was no longer POUNDING when walking.

Jani and I waiting for my 3:50 PM appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Myint. We didn't have to wait long and were taken back to the exam room early.
I met Liz Kessler, MD who is doing a Fellowship in Oncology at UCH. She did the history and physical before Dr. Myint came in. Dr. Myint says I'm responding to the VDT-PACE chemotherapy as he expected and it is normal to have to be "rescued" every other day with platelets and or blood transfusions. The continuing plan is to re-admit me on 13 April 2012 for a 2nd Cycle of VD-PACE (no Thalidomide) at 75% dosing vs the 100% in Cycle 1. I will continue to need every other day "rescue" platelets and blood transfusions for the 28 days after Cycle 2. I will have another bone marrow biopsy on about 3 May 2012 to see where we are after 2 cycles of VD-PACE. The results take 1 week to get back and then, if my multiple myeloma has been suppressed in my bone marrow, I will be admitted around 10 May 2012 for my 2nd autologous stem cell transplant. 

In other words, my bone marrow is NOT going to recover on its own from the VD-PACE chemotherapy cycles and it will take the stem cell transplant to accomplish this.

Dr. Myint is hoping that one of 3 new drugs will be available for me after transplant for maintenance chemotherapy (more on these later). But, we will discuss these after I have recovered from my 2nd autologous stem cell transplant.

The blood clot in my heart persists and Dr. Wolfel's (cardiology) consult indicates it represents very little risk of breaking off and to continue blood thinners with Fragmin.

Dr. Myint always spends a lot of time with us and is wonderful at explaining things to us.

1 comment:

  1. Will be intending that your second STC goes well and you are recovering quickly for the highest and best good of all concerned, so be it and so it is!