Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monthly lab

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.


Susan C said...

My ex just loves those king cakes. His secretary always orders one from LA for his birthday. I put them in the same category as hot cross buns and fruit cakes - BLEH!

susiegb said...

What on earth is a king cake?!! Never heard of them ... :)

Ann said...

Susan, no! Something tells me you haven't had a good one. There are so many ways it could go wrong. Maybe you'd like a Zulu cake? Chocolate, coconut, and sweet yumminess. I will admit that I love an authentic oldschool fruit cake. None of the mass produced bricks people pass back and forth at the holidays. I am with you on the hot cross buns though. :)

Ann said...

Susie, it's a similar to an oversized cinnamon roll topped with glaze and colored sugar. They also come filled if you're so inclined. Here's a link to a local bakery with a nice explanation of the tradition of king cakes and Mardi Gras.

Ann said...

Susan, I think you might enjoy this type. It's essentially a giant doughnut.

PJ said...

Doesn't king cake have a baby Jesus baked inside? Great numbers by the way,although you don't mention glucose

Cindy said...

Oooh- king cake! I haven't had one in years. Thanks for reminding me how good they are, Ann, now I want one :p Of course, the only ones I can get here in Florida are from a grocery store and they aren't very good (sigh).

Ann said...

PJ, there is a tradition of baking a small plastic baby representitive of Jesus into the king cake. Most bakeries leave the plastic baby out of the baking process and leave it up to the buyer to insert it into the cake. There's a tradition that the person who gets the piece with the baby hidden inside is obligated to bring a king cake to the next gathering. As a child, I saw the tradition as a way to guarantee a steady supply of cake. I'm more a connoisseur of the pastry than the religious history of it. :)

Cindy, the two links I referenced in ealier comments deliver. I'm just saying. Perhaps Rob could be persuaded to have one shipped as part of a month long count down to Valentine's day? It's a thought. :)

Cindy said...

I like the way you think, Ann :D

Ronni Gordon said...

I never heard of a king cake. Before you described it, I thought it had something to do with crab.

Congratulations on the numbers. I never heard of elevated platelets either. Maybe you can send me some of yours!

I'm with you on the eating. I'd just keep devouring 'em too.

Snowbrush said...

I've never had a "king cake," and it's probably just as well. From what you wrote about the obligation that getting the piece with Jesus in it entails, maybe it's better just to go all around the cake and eat the icing. Of course, that WOULD put on the pounds, no?

Congratulations on your encouraging numbers.