Friday, February 15, 2013


I have been graduated, discharged, and generally kicked out of the Bone Marrow Transplant program at Mayo. The doc thinks it likely may have been a success; we won't know for sure until the 100 day check up in May. Having survived it at all is literally its own milestone.

The M-spike dropped from 2.4 to 0.9, and should fall some more. Think of proteins still being in the blood, and continuing with half-lives until diluted with new and good blood being produced from the marrow. Another indicator of the cancer, something called kappa light chains that we typically haven't monitored, has decreased to 10% of the pre-treatment value.

Our plans are to ease on out of town today and take 2 or 3 days for an easy trip back to Texas.

I am feeling good.  It is good to have this behind us, and we are hopeful that it will have accomplished the purpose for which we undertook it. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Late Thursday evening, 2/7, I was admitted to hospital with fever, and severe shakes and chills. It turns out my body was producing an abundance of white blood cells (WBCs), a condition called peri-engraftment, or engraftment syndrome. The function of white cells is to attack things, and these were young and inexperienced WBCs who bent themselves on attacking anything and everything in the body, and creating general mayhem.  After running lots of tests to exclude other possibilities, things got under control by 2:00 AM Friday.

As a precaution, I was kept in hospital Friday and Saturday for observation and very lengthy IV infusions of various antibiotics and things.  Sunday I was released, and I am now back at the Gif of Life House on out patient status with Mayo.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


While it is still too soon to say that engraftment has occurred, there are some promising indicators over the past few days.  After the white blood cell count bottoming out and staying for several days at 0.1, it increased to 0.2 yesterday, and 0.4 today.  This most likely means that the new stem cells are making themselves at home in the marrow, and making those WBC’s.  I am also facing less fatigue and nausea (still a lot, just less, and more manageable).
Our daily routine is still to go to the hospital every morning, and now every evening as well for various medications, blood draws, and some transfusions. We were there until 10:30 PM last evening.  We usually ride the shuttle van now in the mornings, and take our car in the evenings when the van doesn’t make its runs.
Rochester remains a winter wonderland.  After a week of temps in the -10 to +15 range, today starts a stretch in the 20’s and 30’s.  A fresh falling of snow makes it all look nice.
Thanks for all the love, prayers and concern.