This week’s blood tests results included a little surprise. In the main the results were still pretty stable. The Red Blood Cells (Hb) had dropped a little to 88 but the doctors tell me this will bounce around somewhat and it is not unusual to require a monthly top up with red blood cells for quite some time in the future. My last blood transfusion was a month ago so I am expecting in the next week or so I’ll be heading back for a top up.
The White blood cells are doing well at 5.2 in the normal range, platelets have dropped a bit to 52 but are still well above the level requiring a replacement. My Neutrophils are 3.6 – again in the normal range. Kidney function (Creatinine) is doing well at 87. My liver function is in the normal range.
But the CMV (Cyclomeglavirus) has started to get out of control. This is not unexpected and is a direct result of being on the steroids for the Graft vs Host disease of my gut.
The solution is to increase the anti-viral drug Valaciclovir from 1 tablet a day to 12 tablets. As with most things this will have another side effect – it is quite toxic on my kidneys. I will expect to see the Creatinine level increase drammatically – which can be partly offset by increasing my fluid intake. I have been there before!
If the Valaciclovir does not lower the CMV level then the back up plan is another drug that is IV administered but this will require daily visits to hospital! Let’s wait and see.
There is no doubt the treatment for Leukaemia is one of many ups and downs and nothing can be taken for granted. As I have always said it is one day at a time.
I have now also started a rehabilitation program at the Epworth Hospital which involves several sessions around psychology, nutrition, physio and Occupational Therapy. I am hoping this will help rebuild by strength as my arms and legs feel very weak at present and my muscle mass is almost non-existent!
My normal weight used to be around 84 kgs but I have been sitting on 76 kgs for quite a few months now and have finally seen this starting to climb. I’m up to 77 now and still climbing slowly which is pleasing.
On Saturday we drove down to Cranbourne to visit the Botanical Gardens that were first created there is 1970. It is a lovely collection of plants imitating landscapes Australia wide and there are some great walks through the beautiful bushland.
On Sunday we drove up to Dookie to visit good friends Richard and Alice Tallis (and godson Sam!) for lunch and a look around their farm. The Tallis family have been involved in wine production for many years and now have a fabulous Cellar door where we enjoyed a beautiful lunch before heading up the nearby hill for a great afternoon walk. It was good to make a trip out of town.
We’v also managed to see a few films lately including Edie and Breath. Breath is based on Tim Winton’s surf novel and has some great surfing shots in it!