January 20

My blood counts seem to be crawling slowly upwards. Chemo essentially destroys all bone marrow along with cancer cells, so this part of recovery is just waiting for my bone marrow to grow back and produce normal amounts of blood cells. At the nadir (low point) exactly one week ago, the values for my white blood cells and neutrophils were 0.1 and <0.01. This morning they were 0.3 and 0.02. The goal is 1.5 and 1. My hemoglobin and platelets don’t matter yet because those are the last to recover, so I’m still getting them all from transfusions for now.

Anyway, considering I’ve turned a corner and am physically feeling so much better, the oncology team believes that my numbers will start growing exponentially, and that I may be free to go home as early as this weekend! Once my numbers are higher, a bone marrow analysis will show whether I’m sufficiently in remission to plan for future chemo without need for a transplant. If that works out, I may be able to do my chemo in hospital stays of just seven days, with my recovery on an outpatient basis. So there’s lots to hope for this week!

Meanwhile, the amazing people at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo sent Alex and me a beautiful handwritten letter and care package with more soaps for me (plus a pink bathrobe and fleece blanket). Incredibly sweet!