well, first the techie stuff: no blasts in the blood, ANC 190 and cytogenetics normal. What the first thing means is that the chemo is working (blasts are the bad leukemic blood cells and when I was diagnosed I had some and now I got none). good news. The second means that my normal white blood cells are tracking downward (expected b/c the chemo kills off the flowers with the weeds). The third means that I have a chance of getting through without a bone marrow transplant. Dr. Hill really thought I was going to need one--that my leukemia had developed in a way that would make chemo not strong enough to get rid of it but the test that came back today said that I "dodged that bullet." Now there is another round of tests to determine if I need to do it or not, but so far, it looks like I may be able to get away with just chemo. Excellent news!
Now the maintenance stuff: I took a shower, walked 1.6 miles and ate 3 count 'em 3 bowls of chicken soup and half a bowl of green beans. I had reiki for the first time and that was interesting and relaxing. The humming bird feeder got knocked off a few days ago and still has not gone back up so that is sad and means no hummers today. The woman who puts them up is supposed to be in on Friday.
There is a nice army of volunteer visitors who come by to chat. I had two this evening. We talked and the 4,000 footer mountains in NH and hiking them. Dan facetimed me from Toronto--he's on his way to the international tuba convention in Austria, where he's performing, not that I'm really really proud of him or anything.
Want to know about the visualization I do for my bone marrow? Sure, you do. It's kinda silly maybe, but it works really nicely for me. There is not a lot I can do besides take my meds, go for walks and eat well so I embrace the feeling that this is something I can do to help myself. I imagine my marrow cavity is like a cave and I visualize my little healthy white blood cells (the few that are left) as little shiny white lentils spinning slowly with a really bright light in front, spinning in a slow circle to cover the space on all sides of them. They are powered by goodness and love and righteousness (this is where you help me) and their beam slowly kills the bad cells as it spins by them. The bad cells are little white lentils too, but they have red and black blotches and lumps on them and they're not shiny. The cave now is a mess, there is garbage everywhere, dead, dying, half dead leukemia cells in piles and clumps and some of the good ones dead and dying too. The good white cells note that some one seems to be filling the cave with a poisonous gas, but they are going to stay and shine their little beams of righteousness, protecting the cave, right to the death. Each good cell sometimes catches a glimpse of another good cell's beam out in the distance, but they are mostly doing their duty alone.
Why does the good cells' beam kill the bad cells? Because they are so bad and the good cells are so good, they cannot tolerate it. It's that simple. Thank you for your help powering up my good cells.