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Week Four

Posted by Frederick Wasti
Apr 11 2012

Today (Wednesday, 4/11/12) was Week Four's long day at Dana-Farber for another round of Ofatumumab. All in all, the infusion of a small dose of Methylprednisone, followed by a bit of Benadryl, followed by a full dose of Ofatumumab, all went pretty routinely, which is, of course, all good news. But today's ~really~ good news was the blood test results, which I received mid-morning, from the blood drawn from me first thing this morning.

Once again, another week of treatment (and today's blood test results represent the blood counts after three weeks of treatment) caused my blood to continue the reversal of its (until recently) fairly steady upward progression. Let's take a look at how the total white cell count has changed over the past several weeks at D-F (starting shortly before my treatment commenced):

Looking at the above graph shows that my white blood cells have continued to decline in number, and have gone from being counted in the upper fifties (per microliter) down to the upper teens.

To put this change (which is certainly in the ~right~ direction) into some perspective, here is a graph of my white counts from the time of diagnosis until today:

Notice that, after "only" (<g>) three weeks of treatment, my white cell count is already lower than it was around the time of my first diagnosis of CLL.

To get an even "longer view" of how the decline fit's into "the big picture", notice in the following graph that, while the count is still not down to below 10,000 (as it was for a long time until CLL caused my white count to start to rise):

OK, just one more graph for today: The above three graphs show the change in total white cell quantity over different time periods, but the medications I am taking are not (or should not be) destroying other than lymphocytes (and you already know that is where the middle "L" in "CLL" comes from, right?), so let's take a look at the absolute lymphocyte count (not as a percentage of the total white cell population, but as an actual number of cells per microliter):

Not too shabby, eh ?!? :-)

However, the final events of today, which are still sinking into my brain, and which will cause a lot of thought and research over the next couple of weeks, were two separate meetings, with one of the doctors and with one of the nurses involved in the D-F bone marrow transplant program, and then having several vials of blood drawn to start a preliminary transplant donor match search. I will have much to say about this in (I am sure, more than a couple of) future posts...

Categories: Leukemia