LISTLESS is the word of the day, and an apt description for John’s demeanor of the last few days. Suddenly the walk to the clinic is a challenge. With his white blood cells hovering around zero while his reds and platelets continue to drop, the question becomes, “What exactly IS circulating around my system?” While he managed to avoid the nausea so often associated with chemo, he has definitely been hit hard with fatigue. Fortunately we have Jane’s Restorative Muffins to balance out the effects of the drugs and keep John in relatively good health.
We are still waiting for the promised “spike” in his numbers that will signal it’s time for apheresis and stem cell collection. John’s daily routine is to walk to the clinic for a 7:45 am blood draw, followed by a visit with the nurse to review the results and discuss symptoms. For the rest of the day he pretty much hangs around the apartment, rotating from the couch to the kitchen to the bed to the computer as his energy waxes and wanes. Going out isn’t really an option while he is vulnerable to infection, nor does it sound appealing at the moment.
John noticed the beginnings of bone pain (for real this time) last night. Once his counts start to spike, he should start apheresis pretty quickly (same day or the next). The stem cell collection can take anywhere from 1-5 days, and varies according to body weight, drug action, etc. For his body weight, the goal is to collect 8 million stem cells, enough for two transplants. Sounds like a huge number, but apparently only amounts to a measured cup.
So we wait. Fortunately the British Open Golf Tournament started today, providing some much-needed sporting entertainment on the telly. For you Mariners fans (if there are any left), check out the photo of Noah holding Richie Sexson’s last home run ball as a Mariner. He and Ike went to a game in Oakland where they collected this exotic piece of sports memorabilia.
Thanks to everyone for checking in. We’re a little short on news at the moment, but hopefully we’ll have more to report by the weekend.