Wednesday +49 (5:30 PM)
Today is day +49. Tomorrow will mark the halfway point in this long process. At that point it makes you want to begin a NASA-like countdown to zero. The hospital actually marks today as the halfway point. That is because Jackie had two "Day Zeros". Her stem cells arrived too late to begin the process on Day Zero so we started on Day One.
As I reported yesterday, Jackie's CMV viral load is down to only 500 copies. It seems they want to run another CMV PCR test tomorrow. As I mentioned, the 500 level is the lowest level they are able to detect. The blood for the current result was drawn on Monday morning. She will have had 8 additional IV infusions since the test was drawn and the results delivered. It is likely the test will be negative. Even if it is still positive it is likely they will switch to an oral anti-viral medication.
I mentioned in yesterday's blog that her counts had declined somewhat. I was a little worried it be due to some other problem that had not presented. Since there were no fevers, rashes, etc. it didn't seem likely. I've learned, however that the blood work is the first indicator of something amiss. I'm happy to report that today's counts improved! Her RBC (Hgl) has improved to 9.6 from yesterday's 9.0. It would still be nice to see this in the 12.0+ range. This would signal a return to a more-or-less normal energy level. Her WBC count improved to 2.6 from yesterday's 2.2. Again, a 4.0+ range would be nice. Her platelets improved to 131 from yesterday's 116. Of course the improved platelet count is great! Hopefully days of sub-10 numbers are a part of history! I think once she is free of the Ganicyclovir IV treatments her counts will improve rapidly. Now if we can just get past any serious GvHD issues we will have it made! As they taper the anti-rejection drugs the possibility becomes more likely. As you may recall they have cut one of the anti-rejection drugs by 1/3. It will take several days for her blood level to reflect the reduction.
Jackie was fairly tired and didn't feel well much of the day. It was surprising give her Hgl level. Usually she feels better when it gets near 10. As the day went along she did improve. This is the norm. It seems to take much of the day to get to a descent energy level. One of the things that helped her feel better was a special video we received from home!
Along with the newspapers and bills we received a DVD from everybody at home. It really made her day to be able to see everyone. I want to say "thank you" to all those who participated! We even got a "get well soon" from our Dentist and his entire staff! All the family, friends, and even Cloe the dog were there. I just want Rachel and Mickey to know I am working on a response video. It will feature Mickey prominently. I intend to make him (and maybe Rachel) famous! Lookout world....here they come! Remember when the Beatles sang U2s Vertigo? If not, here it is one more time. It's amazing what one can do with some creative editing!
Bruce and Jackie
From Rochester, MN