Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 25 with an update

Today started out for some reason as a horrible day. I felt like all I could do this morning was whine and complain and found myself thinking "maybe I could just get some ativan and wake up 12 hours from now, not having had to deal with today." Of course, this is not a very typical kind of day for me and I'm not sure why I felt that way this morning. Possibly because my ANC is still at 10. Dr. Gautier said he thought I'd be out by Friday, but it's not looking like that. That may also be part of why I was feeling a little whiney and down. OK, a lot whiney and down.

Fortunately, rather than return to bed for a second nap (which I considered), I decided to flesh out the AML chutes and ladders game that has been in my head. Wanna see it?

I thought you did.

Right now I'm in the little green part that goes around and around, waiting for permission to go to the > 500 < . In retrospect, I should have made that section blue instead of green since I am feeling somewhat blue, but perhaps I am saving the blue section for some other part of the trip--there may be a more blue section in the fture. The colored pencils were from Ana (thanks!) who didn't know what I would find to do with 100 different colored pencils. I haven't used all of them yet. I tried to make some parts as ugly as I could "NOT EMPTY" in particular. The little things that look like wadded up kleenex are supposed to be leukemic white cells. I'm not sure how bone marrow transplant "BMT" fits into the whole thing, but I know it's like a big black whole sucking any potential path in.

--------update #1
It turns out that colored pencils and an idea I want to express were the perfect antidote for what promised to be a cruddy day. It really turned right around.

I got distracted about twenty times today and never got to finish so here's the end of the post just before I go to bed.
platelets 191, hgb 7.6 ANC 10, WBC 1.2.
I keep trying to tell myself that it's really ok that my platelets have come back first instead of my ANC because the platelets are what has been so hard for me to get. Their purpose in my body is to keep me from bleeding. In general, it doesn't matter if I bleed some, but there are a few key places that I really really really don't want to bleed. Exhibit A: inside my brain. Exhibit B: between my brain and my skull. Exhibit C: inside my spinal cord. The results of bleeding in any of those places would be catastrophic and platelets of 191 makes that extremely unlikely regardless of the rest of my crazy labs so it's really a good thing. I am hoping for ANC now, however, because that is what determines when I can go home. 500 is the magic number. It's not like it goes, 10, 20, 30, 40 each day up by 10 which is good b/c then I'd be planning on discharging for Thanksgiving. They say once it starts up, it goes really fast like 50, 130, 300, 520. O, ANC stands for absolute neutrophil count. Neutrophils are the kind of white blood cells that do things like protect you from infection by bacteria or fungus so they're kind of a big deal.

I walked 1.5 miles today including a visit to Au Bon Pain for a hot chocolate. Because Dartmouth is trying to help everyone lose weight, even those of us who really need to work hard to keep the weight we have, there are no sugar beverages to be had at any of the restaurants. Want hot chocolate? Bring your own powder. So, I did. I also included a down flight of stairs in my trip. My first stairs in 26 days. They felt OK.

With a hemoglobin of 7.6, walking 1.5 miles with 19 minutes miles is obviously a different level of cardio exertion than if one's hemoglobin was 14 (ah, those golden days!). It seems like it would be analogous to an athlete suddenly going to 10,000 feet and doing their sport.  I wonder if there is any sort of equation that tells you what contribution your anemia has made to the level of exercise you are getting.  I don't really know any exercise physiologists, but if you do, please ask them and let me know!

I didn't have any visitor visitors today; really just official visitors: a palliative care volunteer chatter who I enjoyed, a massage therapist and a chat with the palliative care writing coordinator. It is actually nice to have a day every week or so without visitors.

I am going to go to well earned bed tonight. I hope you enjoy your slumbers and your head is filled with interesting questions for tomorrow.
See, half again as much hair. Pretty soon, I'll be finding half a hair in the sink!

1 comment:

  1. maybe the blue will be the BLUE SKYS that do lay ahead... just gotta get out of the spiraling motion sickness green circular thing you are in now. I'm getting dizzy just looking at it. HUGS MARY!