Today was my monthly appointment with my local oncologist and I'm happy to report that he was pleased with my progress. My numbers are as follows:
WBC: 6.9 k/ul
RBC: 3.62 M/UL
HGB: 12.0 g/dl
PLT: 377 k/ul
ALC: 1.7 k/ul
ANC: 4.7 k/ul
AEC: 0.6 k/ul
alk phos: 190 iu/L
AST/SGOT: 33 iu/L
ALT/SGPT: 67 iu/L
Dr. B. informed me that things haven't changed much from the last visit and most everything looks normal. In fact, he usually tells me that I am normal. Considering the types of patients he sees on a daily basis, I take it as a complement. For him, I'm as normal as it gets regarding blood numbers. Of course, he'll be the first to tell you that I've had more stuff done to me than any of his other patients. I believe this as well.
My platelets are slightly elevated, but not by very much. I've been having allergy issues for the past week, so the platelets don't disturb me. You'll notice that I listed my absolute lymphocyte count, as well as my absolute eosinophil count. After my first transplant, it was rare that I could manage an ALC of 0.1. The cords just couldn't do it. The fact that I register right in the middle of the normal ranges is a reason to smile. As for the AEC, it's evidence that I'm dealing with low level GvHD. It was o.56 k/ul last month at MD Anderson. MDA's equipment is much more sensitive than the machine at my local doctor's office and so I'm working on the assumption that it hasn't really changed. As my transplant doctor said, "If you're going to have chronic GvHD, this is exactly where we want to see it." Then she circled the number on my labs. It felt like getting a gold star.
The last three numbers I referenced concern my liver. The normal range for Alk phos is 32-92 iu/L and as you can all see, mine is still elevated. It's much better than it has been. My AST/SGOT is normal, but the ALT/SGPT continues to be elevated. Normal ranges from 10-40 iu/L.
I'll see my local doctor in another month for more labs. At the end of March, I have a date with the doctors of MD Anderson. It will mark my 18 month wellness visit. For those of you who have been keeping score, this is my next big milestone. I'm scheduled to have a bone marrow biopsy and another bone density scan to see if the walking has helped at all. I'll also see an endocrinologist regarding the osteopenia and some other things related to being postmenopausal post transplant.
I feel very well aside from the 6 pounds that I've put on since the start of king cake season. My obsessional love of king cakes trumps my vanity and so I'll continue to eat the empty calories until the scrumptious little confections disappear for another year. Since I know one of my friends is going to leave a comment about a certain bakery that offers them all year long, I'll admit to knowing where it is. For whatever reason, I will not eat a king cake out of season. It just doesn't seem right. Much like eating fresh asparagus in the dead of winter. They're so much better in season.
I'm sure Chris is going to read that last paragraph and howl with laughter since he's witnessed what I can do to a helpless king cake. He doesn't get it and that's okay, because it means more delicious empty calories for me.