Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Counts Today and Prelim Biospy Results

First, a little good news today was my white count was up to 0.6 and the big news was my neutrophils (which fight bacteria) were above 200. This is good news because my neutrophils had been hanging in the 20s. They need to be above 500 before I can go home and "full recovery" is greater than 1500. My red blood cell count and platelets were flat which was also good news.

The nurse just came to talk to me about the preliminary pathology results of the biopsy. There is some good news and some so-so/too early to tell info. In the biopsy they were looking at two things 1) the percent of cellularity, and 2) presence of hairy cells.

Here is what the nurse explained to me... In the bone marrow there is liquid and solid (cellularity). When the bone marrow biopsy was done when I was diagnosed, my celluarity was close to 100%. My marrow was packed with cancer cells. The normal level of cellularity is 50%. Based on my counts my doctor was expecting my cellularity in this biopsy to be 10%, but the prelim results are at 40%. So the chemo cleared out room in my marrow. The pathologist said my marrow was full of the pre-cursor, mama cells, that make the baby cells. The marrow fills up then overflows into the blood. Given my percent of cellularity is 40% the pathologist thought my counts would start to spike up very soon.

On the question of presence of hairy cells, they cannot tell from the prelim report how many hairy cells are still in my bone marrow. Apparently they die off over time and it can take up to 2 months for them to get fully wiped out post chemo. The pathologist thought at this point that at least half of my cells were "good" cells. She would not know for sure the percent of hairy cells until the staining is done and the final pathology report is in which could be end of day tomorrow, or more likely Monday.

Right now the plan is we wait for my counts to recover then I get to go home. I will then have to work on rebuilding my strength and fully recovering my counts. Then in another month I will have another bone marrow biopsy which will determine whether or not I need another round of chemo.

It is good to have some more information on what is going on and signs that my counts are close to recoverying, and at least a break from the hospital is in my near future, but sounds like it will be a bit before we know if the chemo fully worked.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support. Thanks especially to everyone at P&G. We totally appreciate how everyone has collapsed in around us so that I can focus on getting well and Chad has the flexibility to come be with me at the hospital and balance everything with the girls.

1 comment:

  1. Beth, I feel so much better! I see all kinds of positive in this. And, just getting a little bit of positive can go along way toward lifting spirits and healing. So keep staying strong. We, as a family, pray for you EVERY night. You are in everyone's thoughts all day long, every day. Here's to a better today too.

    Love, Judy, Joe and Girls