For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, November 14, 2011

Good news, bad news

On October 28, I had my blood draw for my 3-months-on-Tasigna bloodwork.  I had to wait until November 10 for the results, but I was so busy during the wait that I didn't have time to worry about the results.  I've been busy at work, and I went to Washington, DC November 6-9 for a tax conference. Yes, it was as exciting as it sounds!

First, the bad news:

My pcr went up from 1.8% on September 28 to 2.4% on October 28.  Pcr measures the number of cancerous white blood cells, so you always want to see that number decreasing.  A three log decrease (1/1000 of the percentage at diagnosis) or .01% on the International Scale is considered a major molecular response (MMR). Even better and what every CML patient hopes for is PCRU - pcr undetectable.  Now, I didn't expect MMR or PCRU after only 3 months of treatment, but I didn't expect to see the number increasing, either.  I was very disappointed even though my oncologist assures me that it is a minor fluctuation and not something to worry about.

The more minor bad news is that the internet was going in and out while I was at the doctor's office, so the doctor didn't have access to all of my lab reports.  I think the reason he had my pcr results is because they are done by the Mayo Clinic, so the results get faxed and there is a paper copy.  All of my other labs are done in-house.

On to the good news:

The three month treatment goal is a complete hemotological response, which I have achieved.  This means:
1) My white blood cells are below 10k.
2) My platelets are below 450k.
3) I have no blasts in my peripheral blood.
4) My spleen has returned to normal size.

My hemoglobin was 12. Normal is 12-15. YAY!  Having normal hemoglobin should help somewhat with my fatigue levels.

My white blood cells are low, but the doctor didn't have the exact number.  Apparently, they are above 1k, because if they drop to 1k or below, I have to take a break from my medicine for a few weeks.

In non-cancer news, we spent the past weekend in Charleston, SC where Katie competed in the Lowcountry Feis.  A feis is an Irish dancing competition. She came away with a 3rd place medal and 2 first place medals. She was finished by lunch time, so we spent the afternoon sight seeing in Charleston. We rode a ferry to visit Fort Sumter and ate some great seafood at the Charleston Crabhouse.