Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just call me 8676

Day +155

Ann's Latest blood counts:

WBC 4.9 K/uL
RBC 3.26 M/uL
HGB 10.4 G/DL
PLT 436 K/uL
ANC 3.24 K/uL
LDH 443 IU/L

We where in Houston yesterday for Ann's third dose of Rituxan and we have a bit of good news to share. I will add the disclaimer that it's not as definitive or quantified as I would like, but it's good non-the-less. Dr. Kebereai checked Ann over and said that she felt like Ann was having a complete clinical reaction to the Rituxan. The massive node in Ann's neck has receded completely and she is able to breath a bit our of her left nostril if she holds her right one closed.

In addition Ann's graft looks really health and energetic. The chimerism test for Ann's bone marrow biopsy taken two weeks ago came back and it looks like the expanded cord is still the final winner. Ann had two donor cords: DUCB 8676 and 306286P. 8676 was also expanded to increase the amount of stem cells available for the transplant. It only took a couple of weeks after transplant for 8676 to dominate and now a couple of months later it still is. Ann has joked that she should change her name to "8676".

The reason I put the disclaimer on the news is because our doctor explained that the clinical response to Rituxan and a visible/measurable response on a CT or PET scan may lag by 6 weeks or more. It would be nice just once to have a doctor state something with absolute and unequivocal certainty. Still I will take my good news where ever I can find it.

Ann's new hair, which is baby fine has reached a point where it doesn't have weight on it to keep it straight. After she takes a shower it starts to curl up like a sheep. It's both cute and a little disturbing at the same time. Ann is really worried about future styling options, but has promised a picture of it tomorrow.

The only other issue that Ann is dealing with right know is a strange case of dry skin all over her back and arms. We thought that this might have been GVHD, but the doctor ruled it out. It might be fungal, which isn't likely because it doesn't itch. Its probably a reaction to the water in Houston, which is rough, the new antibacterial soap from the hospital or both. Just to be on the safe side, Doctor Kebrieai set up a appointment with the dermatologist next week when we return for the next dose of Rituxan. Complications are the rule not the execption for post transplant patients.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Nancy said...

Hey 8676! Your counts continue to be fantastic!! Can your baby cells teach my 23 year-old cells how to make platelets? My new stem cells don't quite have the knack yet, though, I know they are working on it.

I'm glad the rituxan seems to be working. You are having a good response... Continue on that road.

I also had dry skin patches. They were on the back of my arms and forearms. My doc gave me some steroid cream which cleared it right up. Go figure...

Keep up the good work. Take Care.
Love, Nancy

Carilou said...

With all this 8676 talk I don't think it'd be a good idea to be changing any PIN numbers. We all know what you would pick.

I can't imagine what Ann looks like with an afro! Please post photos.

pj said...

To the girl with the curl:
My hair grew back curly after my chemos in 2006 but gradually straightened out to its normal slight wave. Curly hair after chemo seems to be the norm, but no one can explain why. Chemo made your toes curl, right? Hair is good, no matter what it does. (I just have a bunch of soul patches on my head at the moment.)