Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day +2 (New Year Eve)

First note. . . Tahara-san & Yasuko-san. . . . Thank you! You are very kind (we all already knew that) and Yuko and I are looking forward to returning the kindness in the new year! Can't wait.

And another issue of great importance. . . . Judy left today to spend the night at Frankfurt airport before leaving tomorrow for a flight back to SFO. Judy, you have so greatly helped us more than my words can express. Thank you times a thousand times! We're looking forward to showing a true appreciation of your (and Tif, too!) sacrifice in the New Year. Here's to wishing you a great flight!

Current blood count numbers (click to enlarge). . . . .

My white blood cells are dropping precipitously, along with the platelet count. Just as expected. So no surprise here. I was told that once the neutrofils drop below 1000, they don't bother measuring them. So I'm below that threshold now. However, I also got to know my past three days of platelet counts, also an indication of the stem cell activity in my bone marrow (or in this case, the lack of activity).

Based on the current blood count numbers the nurse gave me specific instructions for my behavior going forward (until my blood counts come back to life), including the following:
  • Be carful what I eat! - absolutely no salad or anything raw! And no probiotic yogurt, unpeeled fruits or vegetables. Most things that are commercially processed and packaged are probably OK, so long as I check with the nurses first. Chocolate pudding is fine, of which I will probably be eating a lot of that over the next ten days. My stomach is still unsettled. It may worsen. A lot. Where's my lucky rabbit's foot when I need it?

  • I have been instructed to inspect my skin every day for bruises due to low platelet count and report if I find anything.

  • I now have to observe strict sanitation rules; can't be around any sick people and need to wear a filter mask when I walk outside the room.

  • I'm told that the vast majority of people experience idiopathic fever that may last the full ten days. I'll report on that as it develops. [Post transplant note: Yes, indeed I did have an extended fever. Just like the majority of people undergoing the same treatment. It's normal & usual.]

  • I can now sense change in the epithelial tissue of my mouth. Anyone know any witch-doctor spells to cast away the evil mucositis spirits?
And then the small pleasures. . . . It was nice to take a shower this morning without the catheter sticking out of my neck. I think I did an improved job of getting clean.

I expect to be mostly tired and/or sick over the coming ten days, always looking forward to when the leukocyte counts start to improve. I hope Yuko will be able to somewhat enjoy her time around town. I will have to get my entertainment vicariously through Yuko.

Today Frank drove down all the way from Dresden to be here for New Year. Thanks, Frank! (BTW. . . you can take Yuko, but you can't have Riki!) I'm glad that Yuko and Frank will be able to ring in the New Year together. . . .

Have a great New Year celebration everyone!

- George

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