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!