The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted: November 18, 2017 in The Battle Against MDS

The Good…

I got the results back from my bone marrow biopsy. Blast count was at or below 1%, which is excellent (and expected). I don’t have cancer right now.

 

The Bad…

I developed a fever and over this past week you can add a sore throat to that too. The former is concerning because my body is clearly unable to fight it on its own. We’ve later determined that it’s related to the swollen lymph node in my neck. The latter is concerning because it hurts like hell, peaking at Day +78. It impacts not only my desire to do things (like get off the sofa), but also my outlook on life and this battle.

As of Day +80, the fever is gone and sore throat is mostly gone. Likely due to the increase in anti-viral meds and the addition of new anti-biotics. On Tuesday, Day +76, I went to emergency at Toronto General Hospital. I was already there for a CT scan (looking at the lymph node and all lymph nodes in my abdomen) so I just to emerg from there. The ear/neck/throat people looked at the lymph node and told me they wanted another biopsy on it and do a full work-up. From what they’ve seen, it’s a cyst in my neck under my jaw with several lymph nodes attached to it. I suspect I’ll finally get some action on it next week and that it will be gone in 15-20 days. Maybe I can start Day +100 with the same positivity that I had in the first 50 days (but have since lost).

 

The Ugly…

My Day +30 Chimerism test showed that 97.9% of my cells are from my donor and that’s great. The goal is to have that above 95.0% so mission accomplished. However, my Day +60 Chimerism test saw this number drop to 87.3%. My cells are elbowing out the donor’s. Dr. Santosh doesn’t see it that way, though he’s admittedly concerned. But that’s how I see it. What he wants to see is the Day +90 test results before he’ll consider it a trend. He suggests that it’s possible that it goes back up a little. One of things that he would do in response would be to get some lymphcites from the donor, presumably so the donor’s white blood cells can get in there and fight. At any rate, Santosh believes that there are plenty of things that can be done if a trend is indeed spotted. But I can’t say that the news from this Day +60 test wasn’t a blow to me. Added to the fact that I received the news while feeling like shit, and I wasn’t in a good way.

As I write this today on Day +80 I feel better physically and – no surprise – my outlook has improved too. That’s why they call it a “cancer fight” I guess, instead of a “cancer walk in the park”.

 

 

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