I was filled with high hopes this morning when I went for my blood draw at the City of Hope - hope that my blood levels had finally risen and that I would be admitted for round four of chemo.
But a very slight cold was enough to knock my counts back down and I'm once again on hold for admission.
Dr. Forman confirmed that the effects of chemo are cumulative and, consequently, my blood is having a tough time recovering from the intense bombardment. I told him that my friends are worried that my activity levels are affecting the counts and are encouraging me to rest more. He very adamantly replied, "Your friends are wrong. It's the chemo, not your activity levels, that's responsible for your low counts. I'd much rather see you active like you are and leading as normal of a life as possible." See why I love my doctor?
The good news is that we'll be doing six rounds of chemo, not eight as originally explained to me by Dr. D. I've already reached the halfway mark! This means that I could be going in for the stem cell transplant (STC) as early as late July. Of course, it's hard to predict the exact date since the recovery times between rounds are now so uncertain. After round four, we'll redo the tests with the expectation that I'll be in full remission. Stem cells are collected after round five, and then I'll have the STC after round six.
All of this has gone better and faster than I ever dreamed.
But that "very slight cold" I mentioned is enough to make me unusually tired today, so I'm settling in for an afternoon nap.