Yesterday I woke up to some great news. My white blood cell count was just a tad over 0.3. It was just enough to prove that engraftment of the stem cells has definitely occurred within the bone marrow and that those stem cells have begun their loyal job of rebuilding my immune system. With that development, I was taken off a lot of the IV drips that have been my round the clock companions this week. Then Dr. Langston came around and told me that she was also pleased with the news and told me I should get outside and go for a walk. This was the first time I have been outside since the previous Friday. It was hot, but it felt really good to breath outside air.
Then today, I woke up to even more good news. White blood cells more than doubled in 24 hours to a level of 0.7. That was measured at approximately 11PM on Friday night. I didn’t hear the results until morning, which only leads me to think that right now, the counts are even higher. Part of the boost came from the fact that I was given a Neupogen shot yesterday, which is a medication that stimulates growth of white blood cells. If I get another one today, I could be looking at a much higher count by tomorrow morning.
I am feeling better but still weak. I think my biggest problem right now is boredom. I have been here for 16 days and I am pretty tired of the routine. The bed is not bad, but it is uses a strange air supported system that I think is supposed to conform to your body as you lay on it. The problem is that if you shift your position, the mattress takes about 5-10 minutes to let go of the other shape it was in, so it winds up feeling like I am sleeping on lumpy random piles of forest floor debris. I am also anxious to be free of the responsibility of measuring all of my pee and keeping a log of when I go and how much I made. I am tired of looking all the way up the ceiling in this small room to see the TV. The only real comfortable way to watch the TV is to lay flat on my back and look at the ceiling.
I have officially abandoned the hospital food. There is now a sign posted on my door that says, “Do not deliver meal tray to patient.” I have decided my little collection of apple sauce, pudding, gatorade and the soups and cereals available from the floor kitchen will be sufficient to sustain my little appetite until this is over. I am hoping to go home on Monday.