Day 11 – Closer to Release   October 17th, 2011

My immune system continues to mend itself, thanks in part to nightly injections of filgrastim/Neupogen – the same drug administered to me to boost my white blood cell counts as part of my stem cell harvest. I have been getting these shots for over a week now. Nice to see they are finally making an impact.

My neutrophils are at a whopping 1960 (compared to yesterday’s 500), and my white blood cell counts are at 2700. Major increase in both, and these are based on 2am blood draws, undoubtably they are even higher now. Unless something goes awry, I will be discharged on Thursday or Friday, most likely (might be even sooner, but I’m not counting on it). Woohoo!

The other good news related to elevated neutrophil countsis that while I will still be more susceptible to germs and need to wear a face mask in confined places, I will no longer be neutropenic, meaning lots more real hugs from Linda and the kids (instead of the half-hugs we were settling for to avoid infection). Also, once I’m determined to officially be no longer neutropenic (three days of neutrophils above 1000 or one day above 5000), I will be taken off most the drugs I am still on, including the two IV antibiotics. Will make for more restful days.

It was otherwise a (good) boring day. I had extra infusions of magnesium and potassium, but nothing else extra. My platelets were at 20 as of this morning, so there is a likelihood of a platelet infusion tomorrow if it drops below with tomorrow morning’s early blood draw and analysis.

The girls spent the day out in DC, at the Newseum, with lunch next door at The Source. I was able to surprise them (under the masterful direction and help of our AMEX concierge goddess and friend, Tara) with special desserts on which the dessert chef wrote a message in chocolate telling them both how I loved them. Krystyana will have to share the pictures she took when she has a chance.

Bas spent the day with me, and we managed to get in three episodes from the first season of the sci-fi series Farscape (thanks to Amazon Prime Free TV), as well as another wonderful walk outside in the sun.

The dry mouth is still here but I find sores my mouth and tongue have started to heal, and indication that my system is slowly returning to some level of normalcy.

A good afternoon nap provided necessary balance, and I now find myself ready to be a day closer to heading back to Boston – a vision that is now finally within grasp.


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This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 20:03 and is filed under Family, Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses

October 17th, 2011 at 20:11
Bill Heyman Says:

Jake, I’m happy that your health is progressing to the point that you can return to a bit of normalcy. Although the last few weeks have been tough, it’s all looking up for you right now. Congratulation! Keep up your spirits, and keep fighting!


October 17th, 2011 at 22:51
LaDonna Says:

the news just keeps getting better and better……..((((HUGS))))

I can hardly wait to get a chance to see you in Boston again :D

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

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

October 17th, 2011 at 23:34
Barbara Leary Says:


October 18th, 2011 at 02:27
Dad Says:

Jake, what a lovely morning here in Prague with the news that your healing is progressing in the right direction. Tonight I invited our friendly landlords to the nearby Mexican Restaurant for a festive dinner. We will toast your marvelous neutrophils with raised glasses of no Tequila but BECHEROVKA! To NED, too…

October 18th, 2011 at 04:34
Jarmila Richter Says:


what a relief is to hear that your body is recovering from the low point of your immune system.
Can Yana take the photo of you with other lens than the wide angle? It makes your face distorted and you are much more handsome than that. Maybe also could take a profile. We would love to see that.

Keep fighting,
Love, mom.

October 18th, 2011 at 06:42
Denise & Teddy Says:

yayyyyyyyyyyyy :-)


October 18th, 2011 at 07:10
Martin Says:

That’s good news! I’m happy my increased drinking (I have to toast to NED at least 6 times a day… ;) ) is helping…

I might come to Boston (if possible) before the end of the year to deliver your Dutch supply of hugs in person…

October 18th, 2011 at 18:00
Tracy & Mike Griffin Says:

Congratulations on your progress – such great news!