Friday, January 15, 2010

Another Miracle? WBC at 7.8!

I just sat down for my final chemo cycle #5 infusion at UMHS Cancer Center and the nurse handed me my labs. The labs are taken before every infusion because it is important to ensure that my blood counts (White, Red, Platelets, etc.) are not going to low. The chemo dominates the bad stuff, but it also take a tole on the good stuff unfortunately. Because we are preparing for a stem cell collection in February, we need to ensure that my counts don't go too low which could affect the ability to pull enough stem cells.

Being a numbers guy I also pour over every digit to understand changes and trends and then I come up with my own crazy theories that are not scientific and drive Cassie insane! For the past three months I have seen my white blood count (WBC), red blood count and platelets all hover right below the normal range. Low, but nothing to call home about. Today though, all my numbers are in the normal range, including Hemoglobin, and the WBC is 7.8! (normal range 4.0 to 10.0). I don't even have the sniffles, so it's unlikely the number is up become of an infection/illness. I also got my labs from Tuesday and the WBC was 6.3 and all other counts within normal limits.

I will admit that I don't know how significant this is, and I know there are MM patients and experts that read this blog occasionally, feel free to give your reaction based on your experience. Cassie's response was that maybe the chemo is not working as effectively; which is a really good thought. We'll know in two weeks when we get our results from Cycle #5.

On the transplant front, I agreed to move forward with a Chemo Cycle #6 in hopes to get to VGPR (90% reduction of M-protein/spike). I find it unlikely that I will drop from 0.8 to 0.3.... but maybe I should stop trusting in my own understanding and play dumb. Seems to have good results!


tim's wife said...

What those terrific CBC numbers mean is that you do not have a bunch of MM
cells crowding out the good cells
that make your Red, white, and
platelets in your marrow anymore. It is a VERY good sign.
Your marrow is healthy enough to
make the cells it's supposed to make. Pretty impressive to have numbers that good during a multi-drug protocol. Way to

EJ & Roo said...

great WBC news!!! keep dominating!! wearing my cancer kicker bracelet every day.
we head back for the first time post transplant for a bone marrow biopsy and pet scan. hoping we'll hear dominating results!
you guys are always in our prayers.

Karen said...

WOW!! I'm not even ON treatment right now, and your white cells are kicking my white cells' butt! I am insanely jealous of your white cells. :) The highest mine have been in years is 4.0! Keep kicking butt! :)

Jennifer said...


Zachary Branigan said...

Phil, that is awesome news. Thinking about you guys every day. I ran right past your house this morning and had a great feeling that good news was coming...and here it is. You are the man, my friend!

dadsjourney said...

Hi Phil,

Thanks for viewing my blog. I've been reading your blog for some time now and strongly supporting you in the background. I love your fighting spirit, it is an inspiration to all! You are quite the lucky man with an amazing wife! Congrats on you new baby. I think the next few months will be an experience you'll never forgot, the transplant and being a daddy for the 3rd time. Please let me know if you have any questions about the transplant.

Nick said...

In my case, the white cells spiked before the crash each of the four times I received chemo. Are you receiving Neupogyn injections to boost their recovery? That was the case with me. They would start the injections before the crash so I would see a spike and I remember thinking one time that I was only gonna be neutropenic for one day. Little did I know. :)

Platelets crashed for me as well, but red cells never went too low and that fact that yours are robust is good!!! Keeping that count up is critical for keeping any energy whatsoever.

Be well and KEEP DOMINATING! ;)

Philip said...

Thanks everyone for confirming that an elevated WBC is a good thing. I should hear back from my PA today on his take.

Nick- No neupogyn injections for me; just a lot of cheap carbs and cookies. I am curious to see how the WBC tracks over the next month with my off week off chemo followed by a sixth round of RVDD.

Kat said...

Hi Cassie and Phil,
My WBCs stayed pretty high, around 7 or so, give or take, all through my induction chemo. Until the cytoxan and melphalan got to them. I'm 43 years old, 3 kids, and have been in a stringent CR for 2 1/2 years. So don't take your WBCs as a sign as whether or not the chemo is working! My WBCs range between 4 and 6 now, not stellar, but this is the first winter in almost 4 years that I have not been sick. Hope I didn't just jinx myself!
Good luck!

glendacriswell said...

Hello Phil and family~~

My husband, age 56 was diagnosed with MM 6 years ago. He had stem cell transplant September 15th 2009.

He is has always been very healthy as well and very fit.
I am very impressed by your FIGHT and purchased some bracelets to support your journey.

Keep on keepin on and lean on HIM!
Blessings and Peace ~ glenda c