Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Superhero

Today, I feel like a superhero wrapped in an invisible cape of immunity.  This is a far cry from how I felt two weeks ago. My WBC had crashed to 1.5 (range: 4.5 -10.0 K/ul) and my absolute neutrophils were .70 (range: 1.5 - 8.0 K/ul).   I felt frightened and extremely vulnerable so I put myself into isolation.  As it turned out, I didn't mind restricting myself to our house because I developed a miserable cold and cough and didn't feel like going anywhere.  In fact, I was unable to have my chemo last Friday because I was too ill. In the meantime, my lambda light chain (myeloma marker) has gone back up 17 points. 

I am happy to report that I think I have battled this cold into submission.  This meant that I was able to go to the clinic and have my chemo today.  After my blood draw, I settled into a comfy recliner in the infusion room, but I couldn't relax as I waited for the results.  Reasonable and unreasonable thoughts were quarreling in my head as any cancer patient can relate to.  Would my counts go down again? A big worry since they were so low and didn't have much room to drop.  Would they go up?  One could hope... What if I can't have chemo? What if the myeloma is taking control? Would I have to see the doctor before my scheduled appointment in two weeks? My mind was awhirl.

You can imagine my surprise and elation when my results came back and my WBC was 5.4!  Yes, 5.4!  My absolute neutrophils were an equally astounding 3.8.  Now, I know what you are thinking,  "Of course, those numbers went up.  You have been battling a pretty miserable cold and cough."  I know you are right, but it sure did feel good to see 5.4 after 1.5.  Realistically, I know that after today's treatment and Friday's treatment, they will probably go back down and I am ready for that.  But, I don't expect them to go back to near zero. . .ever again.

Knowing that my WBC is no longer in the perilous zone has made  me feel like a superhero with super powers protecting me.  I haven't felt like that for quite awhile, if ever, and I know it will be fleeting because I live in the multiple myeloma world where blood count numbers go up and down on that winding wicked roller coaster.  But, for awhile, I think I will relish being a superhero for a few days. 


Can you see my invisible cape of immunity?  If I squint my eyes, I almost think I can.

16 comments:

  1. hey, you super hero, you! I am so thrilled for you - that you were able to receive treatment, and that your spirits have soared. we all have to endure the caveats, they're part of the whole ball of wax. but we can, and you do hold on tight to what is most important in the here and now. glad that cold and cough that you were battling lost! sally forth and ENJOY!

    much love, my friend XOXOXOXO

    Karen, TC

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    1. Karen,
      Yesterday, was the first good day I have had in about 3 weeks so I LOVED it! I also had dexamethasone with my chemo yesterday and that added to my superhero feeling! Ha!
      Love,
      Carole Leigh

      PS I will email you.

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  2. Sheri from IdahoJuly 24, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Let's keep hoping for more good news about your MM. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the super powers!!

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    1. Hi Sheri,
      I am so happy you are reading my blog! Thank you!
      My super powers are still in force today! :)

      Love,
      Carole Leigh

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  3. We are so VERY happy for you, my dear. Keep it up, tough-broad! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!

    xoxo
    Nan and Dom

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    1. Thank you! You two are always such an inspiration to me!

      Love
      Carole Leigh

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  4. I am smiling with joy for you!

    This is the best news, Carole Leigh and such an encouragement for you.

    Yes - super, indeed!

    Love, Lynn

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    1. Hi Lynn,
      I am smiling too! I know the wbc is artificially high because I have had this cold, but I'll take it!

      Hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather. The perfect summer in Washington!
      Love,
      Carole Leigh

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  5. Boy, Carol-Leigh, I sure do see that cloak. I also see the strength you have to beat this thing into final submission. Brad and I send our best. And of course our prayers. Keep that beautiful smile and you have our phone number. Brad & Nancy Hovik

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    1. Hi Nancy,
      I am so glad you can see my invisible cape of immunity!! :) Thank you for all of your support!

      I plan to be at the August luncheon and hope to see you there.
      Love,
      Carole Leigh

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  6. I envy your neutrophils! You go girl,
    Don

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    1. I was pretty excited about my neutrophils too, after the .70 count. I'll have my next blood test on August 6 and, of course, I'll be a bit nervous about what those pesky cells are doing!
      CL

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  7. I'd lost the link to the blog so I was elated to learn that you are beating those pesky numbers into submission.. sit in the corner, MM!!

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    1. Sandy,
      I'm glad you're back! I love it: "Sit in the corner, MM!!" :)
      Love,
      CL

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  8. Hi SuperHero Carole! just stopping by to say hello and lend support. Hoping all your treatments go well and continue to bring you back to the remission road! I get so confused with all the Myeloma stats, numbers and levels. Seems like each lab has a different numerical spectrum. The minute I think I understand the names and stats, I find I really don't! Is the lambda light chain the same as the "M-spike" or M-protein level? Anyway, glad you are out of the woods, fighting the germs off like a superhero and doing better! Me, I've been coming out of remission the last few months... I will reread your blog to see the course of treatments you've received. Crazy how our Myeloma is so similar! And we've both been in the education field. Contaminated schools?? Anyway, wishing you all the best, and stay healthy and well! Julie

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    1. Hi Julie,
      I know just what you mean about trying to understand all the terms and numbers. While I know way more than I ever wanted to know, I have a lot more to learn. Unfortunately, this is all stuff we never wanted to know! I have read the description of light chains and my doc has explained it, but it is still confusing to me. It isn't the same as the M-spike. In fact, that never registers for me and they gave up on using that marker.

      I am really sorry that you are coming out of remission and I am wishing you all the best to beat this MM back into submission! You are in my prayers.
      Love,
      Carole Leigh

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