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Cycle 2 Day 15

Posted by Frederick Wasti
May 02 2012

Today was Day 15 of Cycle 2 of Part A in my "Ofatumumab With High Dose Methylprednisone Followed by Ofatumumab and Alemtuzumab in 17p CLL" clinical trial at Dana Farber, and it was a "just a regular" Ofatumumab day (with only a small dose of Methylprednisone this morning, just for pre-Ofatumumab conditioning). So, today marks the middle of Cycle 2 - i.e., two weeks ago today was Day 1 of Cycle 2, while two weeks from today will be Day 1 of Cycle 3.

There was one change in protocol today: Along with the small dose of Methylprednisone and the two tylenols, I was given Benadryl in pill form today - it was the same dosage as what an infusion would have been, but it was just a little pill to swallow (along with the two Tylenols) instead of an infusion. This was done because it has become obvious that the strongest effect I have felt during my days at D-F has been a profound grogginess due to Benadryl, and so the thought was that the effect might become less pronounced with a slower reacting pill. Well, taking a pill did slow down the amount of time it took for me to get groggy, but I still think the extent of the effect was still about the same. (However, it does take less time to swallow a pill than it does to receive an infusion of the very same med, so that, at least, is a small improvement.)

By the way, you may recall that, after the first two times I received infusions of Benadryl, the original dosage was then cut in half, so that, instead of the Benadryl turning me into a 400 pound zombie, I merely became a 300 pound zombie. (And, I may yet try out for a role as an extra on "The Walking Dead" TV series for next season - however, it won't actually be a speaking role, just a "grunting role" - <g>.)

The good news today (not overwhelmingly good news, mind you, but at least comforting news) was that the white cell count had started going down again (YAY!). After a few weeks of declining fairly dramatically, it seemed to have more or less level off for a couple weeks, so it was indeed gratifying to see this morning's blood test results start heading in the right direction again.

So, let us first look at the total leukocyte count during the trial so far:

Note that, while the rate of decline did not quite match the fairly steep slope of the first three weeks of the trial, it definitely did show more of a decline than seen over the past two weeks.

Now, to put the total leukocyte count into a longer historical perspective, let's look at the counts since the time of diagnosis:

It is, again, easy to see that the white cells are starting to go down once again. Furthermore, it should be noted that, even with the recent plateau in counts, I still have had fewer white cells in my blood recently than I have had since back before the time of diagnosis.

Finally, let's see how those pesky lymphocytes have been faring:

It can be seen that the lymphocytes have also resumed a decline (and may it continue for a while longer...).

Well, as I said above, today's blood test results were not overwhelmingly good, but they were still a pleasant sight for our eyes this morning. :-)

Categories: Leukemia