Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16: The End of Part One

So my neutrophil count, apparently, is 9520. That would be significantly over 500.

I had a little trouble believing it when I saw it on the computer. Actually, Hannah and I laughed about how everything was going wrong this morning. Even the test must be messed up.

But it's not.

The nurse said it was possible those counts were correct, and the doctors said they were correct.

So I can go home with no prescriptions and no restrictions. Clean bill of health, have a good day, but come back because we have to keep monitoring to make sure the cancer doesn't come back. I still have to do the consolidation rounds, and I still have to plan on a marrow transplant in the next few months because it's probably that my leukemia will refuse to stay in remission.

But for now, I'm healthy. My white blood cell counts sky rocketed to higher than normal, but they'll stabilize as I get the rest of my red blood cells back. I'm at about 75% of normal now.


A Couple Stories I've Got To Throw In

These both involve Dr. Watson, the young intern who took over Doc Halliday's spot when Doc Halliday moved to a different floor.

First, there's yesterday. Hannah asked him if people constantly said "Elementary, my dear Watson" to him.

Are you ready for this? He told us, "No, actually. Most people say, 'Dr. Watson, I presume.' And then they say to me, 'I'll bet you hear that all the time.'"

Hannah and I started laughing. "Dr. Watson, I presume," is the wrong doctor. It's "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," and it's from the story of Dr. Livingstone, who traveled to Africa, preached the Gospel, and became a terror to slave traders. His story is awesome, though there are people who dispute it.

Dr. Livingstone was missing for years, and then a reporter found him, old and injured from a lion bite. After searching much of Africa, the reporter walked up to him and said, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume."

Great line, but it has nothing to do with Dr. Watson, who was Sherlock Holmes' sidekick.

Story #2

It turns out Dr. Watson read a lot of my blog yesterday. He said he liked it, which was encouraging.

Then he mentioned my comment, from yesterday's blog that leukemia is a cool disease. He told me that he thinks so, too, but he's really not allowed to say that because it's so devastating in people's lives. Obviously. Dr. Watson's a compassionate man, but also he's studying and trying to heal a disease that is extremely complicated and fascinating.

He told me that people ask him on social occasions whether there's a cure for cancer on the horizon. He then has to explain to them that cancer is a million diseases. As he began to explain what he meant to me, commenting on Flt-3 markers and other such cellular abnormalities, I realized he's just talking about leukemia. Just leukemia is a million diseases.

So complicated, so many possible abnormalities. So many drugs that work, and so many that don't work in seemingly the same situation.

Nonetheless, they're winning. It used to be that every decade you could see the survival rates for leukemia and lymphoma rising. Now, it is probably more fair to say that the survival rate rises yearly. Great progress is being made.

So I'm glad I got to say that leukemia is a cool disease.

And I still really love that lizard's saying: "I've always wanted to fight a battle against incredible odds."

1 comment:

  1. Well, praise the Lord and lol: our God does nothing by halves . . . glad you are headed home!