Day 10 – Return of the Neutrophils!   October 16th, 2011

Sadly the vaporizer did not work particularly well last night, so I will just have to try and hydrate more regularly. Linda already has some homecare vaporizer and humidifier equipment sitting in our shopping cart just waiting to be ordered once we know when we are returning to Boston.

And on that note, my nurse brought me glad tidings this morning. My neutrophils had sky rocketed from nowhere to 500! My white blood cells were at 740, and my platelets had stayed at 25 overnight. Woot!

I will probably need some more red blood tomorrow as my red blood cell counts are a bit low, but the doctors say that it’s quite likely I will hit 1000 on my neutrophils tomorrow, which means the countdown towards departure would start.

Two nice surprises today included a spontaneous visit from an old friend, Rebecca, who I had not seen in at least two years, bringing me one of her favorite books and a number of skin care (and head care) products for cancer patients who had had chemotherapy and/or radiation. I’m looking forward to trying them out (the company that makes these is Alra). We caught up on the last couple of years, including the update that her brother and his wife had returned from a vacation in Bonaire last night. Thank you for brightening my afternoon Rebecca!

If anyone else is so inclined, the best times to stop by are between 1:30 and 4:30pm, as I am least likely to be tethered to an IV or napping during those times. We can provide specifics of location on the NIH campus by e-mail to anyone interested. I expect to still be here through Wednesday at least.

The other nice surprise involved a 15-minute walk outside (with face mask on) absorbing the warmth of the fall sun. I was tired after the walk but just loving every minute of it. Unfortunately tomorrow is not likely to be as sunny but I will make the best of it.

My energy levels are definitely improving bit by bit, although I’m pretty sure I will be wheel-chairing it at whatever airports I fly through later this week getting back to Boston.

For tomorrow, the girls will be scoping out the new exhibits at the Newseum, taking advantage of the family membership I bought there last month when I visited that awesome museum. That means Bas will be my personal assistant for the day, and we’ll be watch more of the Farscape TV series he and I have been enjoying together.

Hopes are that neutrophils keep sky rocketing upwards and that all my other blood counts remain good, as I’m longing for a shower that produces steam (mine in Boston), no more IVs, no more middle of the night wake-ups for vitals checks, and no more having to pee into a plastic vessel all the time so my “liquid output” can be measured.

And I am also looking forward to the ability to fling (well, gently drop) a chicken into a pot of water and have it simmer for hours to create a fatty and delicious chicken broth of my own, as well as eat whenever I want to nibble on during the day or night instead of the limited hours and options of the room service I have here. Not that I’m complaining – the clinic has been wonderful, but some normalcy after nearly three weeks of clinical care would be nice too. I can see that normalcy in my future and it’s looking sweet.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 16th, 2011 at 18:44 and is filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses

October 16th, 2011 at 22:18
dara Says:

Yeee-ha! You’ll be rolling out of there before you know it and eating your own home-made chicken noodle soup whatever hour of the day or night you please! Maybe after you return to Beantown you can hang out at a conservatory and enjoy the humidity, or just close the bathroom door and turn the hot shower on until the room is filled with steam (That would be my way of coping with bone dry winter air in MN :-) Continued healing vibes and ju-ju’s to all!

October 17th, 2011 at 01:45
LaDonna Says:

wow….a whole bunch of AWESOME all in one post!

BTW….drove by your house yesterday….it’s all looking good….didn’t get a chance to stop and say hi to the puppies…..but will try to before the end of the week :)

BIG ((((HUGS))))

October 17th, 2011 at 02:15
Dad Says:

Mom and I are happy to read your today’s blog. The best and strongest chicken soup is actually made from hen (mother of chicken). Linda might get it for you in Chinese supermarket. The bird is tough so leave it for eight hours in the slow cooker at LOW. This is how we get strenght during a flu here in old Europe. Thumbs up! To NED!!!

October 17th, 2011 at 05:17
Angela Says:

This post made my day! So happy you are doing well and before you know you’ll be back in Boston.
And listen to your dad, old Europe has fabulous recipes!

October 17th, 2011 at 09:13
Cecil Berry Says:

Jake how about a clip on earing? Get the look without the hole.

Very happy to hear of the progress and lets hope those TIL cells are kicking some melonoma butt.

October 17th, 2011 at 09:54
Denise & Teddy Says:

The neutrophils are marching on, hurahhh hurahh !
Jake, this is great news. Not unexpected, since as you know I have full certainty you will beat this completely. Mom’s chicken soup sounds yummy :-)
. . . more hugs to you all, every day

October 17th, 2011 at 13:26
Cynde Says:

I agree with LaDonna, a whole lotta good in one post! You sound a bit more energetic, and it is a nice visual of you “flinging a chicken into a pot”…listen to your dad, he sounds smart :)

Please keep us posted, and up-to-date on your possible return to Boston. You may have some things waiting for you, ya never know :)

{{{Visualizing drinking wine on our rooftop on Bonaire, toasting to NED and eating that 60 pound pig roasted on your “pit”}}}

Hugs and love to the melanoma warrior and his caregiving clan.


October 17th, 2011 at 23:02
Karen & Rog Says:

Wooo-Hooo! Love good news (((HUGS)))