Good news on the almost home front. Blood counts look outstanding! Let’s recap, shall we?

Mark                                “Normal”

White Blood Cells     7.0 (up 2.6 from Friday)           3.8 – 9.8
Hemoglobin              10.9 (up 0.7)                          13.8 – 17.2
Hemocrit                   31.7 (up 2.9)                          40.7 – 50.3
Platelets                   74 (up 20)                                140 – 440
Neutrophil                 6.0 (up 2.6)                              1.8 – 6.6

tumblr_lzxziiuM9X1r3ec6wo1_500The way they measure neutrophil count for out-patient is a little different than when he was in the hospital. We were looking for that magic 1500 number. Obviously the ones I am reporting look much different. Never fear though, they have not dropped thousands. For example, 6.0 is really 6,000. As you can tell, some of these have moved in the normal range and some are still sluggish. But not considered a problem, as the recovery from this takes a good long time. But our donor stem cells seem to like their new home and are doing their job. Keep it going stemmies!

We are keeping a close eye on Mark’s skin for any rashes. So far (knocking on ALL the wood), there haven’t been any major signs of Graft vs Host Disease. Mark does have a rash on his face, but the Doc didn’t say, “That’s it!” Which is amazing as 90% of patients get some form of it. It usually takes place in the liver, the gut, or the skin. Blood tests aren’t showing any liver issues, GI tract seems to be doing okay (other than the nausea that all the meds are causing), so that leaves the skin. Those of you know Mark personally, know his fair Irish skin. So we are trying to look between the freckles and under the pink for any signs of rash. We think we maybe see something, but then it goes away. So crossing fingers, that he is one of the lucky 10%. Of course, our nurse practitioner said GvHD could show up at any time for the rest of your life. What a buzz kill!

We were happy to actually talk to his doctor on Monday and get his take on everything, and start grilling him on when we can go home. Mark also had a list of issues that he needed answering. Stephanie, the nurse practitioner, said they never let any one leave before 60 days.  But doctor says, well…. maybe we can let you go a little early. Next set of labs and doctor visit is on Monday the 22nd and the 29th, and if all goes well… who knows? We’ll be home for Kai’s birthday, and that is a BIG motivator.

Of course, we really weren’t expecting to get out of here before 60 days, so now my mom and dad are scrambling to make sure the house is ready for Mark to come home. Allergen free, carpets cleaned, that kind of stuff. But it is big, pain-in-the-neck stuff. I don’t think I have really expressed the gratitude I feel for all my family is doing. My mom and dad have pretty much put their lives on hold to move into our house and take care of our children. It is not easy. It’s fun to try to remember how to parent youngish children (she says with much sarcasm). And, of course, everything that Jeff has been doing with coordinating fundraisers and stuff. He set up the Give Forward thingy (which is the widget to the right), but also is organizing a serious event in Chicago. The generosity of people, from my family to people I have never met, amazes me. And I will never be able to say thank you enough.

Okay, I am babbling and getting a little teary. Besides, I think Mark had something he wants to say…

with much aloha

I am really glad we saw my Doc. I got my questions answered, and we are back on track. I’m on only the meds I really need. Back on the Tac and we need to monitor my kidneys closely. We bought a bunch of gatorade so I can help flush the toxins out of there.

~ Mark


  1. Linda Senenfelder

    Sounds like you are back on track Keeping the prayers going and knocking on wood too. Sending positive thoughts your way Much Love too

  2. Does Mark and Normal actually go together?
    Is seems like an oxymoron.

    • Well you notice I always put “normal” in quotes 🙂 And we know Mark is unique and going to do everything, including this particular journey, in his own style.

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