Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 and a time to count my blessings

I am loving spending a cold lazy day by the fireplace, reading, writing and ignoring my long to do list. My son provided the necessary holiday celebration yesterday with a wonderful gathering of his friends in his apartment. Yasmin and Ben fed us all well (no turkey) and I can't imagine a better way to have spent the day.

Today we strolled along the Pacific with the tide so far out it seemed you could have walked to Catalina Island without getting more than waist deep into the wet coldness of the ocean. And the purple and orange sunset and the smells of the turkey cooking and the clear crisp air completed the perfect land and seascape. Another magic day turning to night in SoCal.

My leukemia and ITP have become blissfully boring again.

Yesterday I finished my sixth and final dose of rituximab 500/M2 along with IVIG. I have started to taper my cyclosporin down to 100 mg 2 x a day

This small drop in cyclosporin from 150 mg 2 x a day was enough to get my BP back in the normal range. My uric acid (think gout) is back in the 7s from 9.5 and my creatinine (a measure of renal function) has stabilized in a safe range after slowly rising for weeks.

My concerns about anemia have not materialized, as my fall in HG has also stopped. My total lymphocytes are a bit low (0.66) from all the rituximab, but I am not concerned. My neuts are adequate and the IVIG helps protect me. My infection risk is not much higher than its usually elevated status. The only cloud on the horizon is a slowly rising MCV, now 102, (normal is 80 -100) which can be a subtle marker for the coming storm of bone marrow failure or MDS. But I just had a bone marrow biopsy a few months back, and it looked very good, so I am not too worried about that either.

Oh, yea, my platelets were an astonishing 351,000.

And all my palpable lymph nodes are pretty much gone- small shotty things of no consequence.

So my ITP seems to be off the table for now. And the CLL is in retreat. How far in retreat is a question that won't be answered until the spring with a bone marrow biopsy and CT scan.

I have managed to avoid the nasty side effects of cyclosporin and with the ability now to safely taper the dose, I have dodged that bullet again.

I can stop my weekly trips to the cancer infusion center and will try to stretch my visits for IVIG to longer than 2 weeks.

And I shouldn't need to decide a darn thing about my CLL for a few months.

Less to blog about.

More to be thankful for.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderfully boring post: no drama, no crisis and no worries! Glad to read all. If the spirit so moves you, could you comment on the rituxan-cyclosporin combo in the context of node reduction? That is do you think there was some synergism involved in shrinking the nodes or was it pure rituxan?
Regards, TomD

November 26, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are very thankful that you are doing so well!

Have a great week!
Dave and Ronda

November 27, 2010 at 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankful that you are doing so well. Your depth of CLL knowledge has most certainly kept the treatments in blissful balance. Here's to many, many months/years of CLL in retreat.

--Janet

November 28, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

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