Chris DeLuca

The blog of the person

Bone Marrow Update

Hey, it’s everybody’s favorite subject, bone marrow! I already told all the grisly bits in The Story So Far part 2, so today I can move on to the results,

which I got only a couple of hours ago. I won’t bore you with the details of the hospital visit, as they mostly consisted of me waiting, and skip right to the good stuff.

My red blood cell count has dropped to 4.8 thousand parts per million, which is just above the low normal (and where the doctor wanted the numbers to be). My red blood cell count is 11.2 thousand parts per million; normal is 14 and Gleevec (the Leukemia drug) paitents usually top out at around 12. This makes sense, as I feel good and have energy for walking around, working on the computer, and other low strain activities, but once I don’t have much endurence or capacity for high octane stuff. However, I must clarify, I never had much capacity for these things, being a rather inactive, thinking-heavy person who hates to excorsie, but now I have a bit less of a capacity. Or at least an excuse. But back to the results. There are no blast cells (super mutant cancer cells) in my bone marrow, which confirms I am in the Chronic phase of the Leukemia, which, with the medicine, should stay that way. I won’t go into the detials of the Accelerated or Acute phases, but lets just say I wouldn’t be typing this right now. So that was I huge releif, even though I was 99% sure of it anyway.

Also, in addition to the classic Leukemia genetic indicators of gene 9 and 22 being fused, there was an additional abnormality: gene 8 was also fused to the 9 and the 22. Aparently, the breaking and consequently fusing of gene 8 is the most common gene malfunction, and has not immediate threat on it’s own. However, with other forms of Leukemia it can tell white blood cells to reproduce like crazy (like the fusion of the 9 and 22), so Dr. Goldberg is going to monitor gene 8 just to make sure this does not happen. The last thing is that my platelets are low. This is astandard reaction to the treatment, and most paitents platelets swing back up after 6 or 7 weeks of treatment (I’ve been on treatment for 5). So I have an appointment in 2 weeks to check on my platelets. Hopefully I won’t be a bleeder. The big test is at the 3 months of treatment mark (so mid August), which is when they check my blood  and do an in depth cell scan (the details are beyond me) of how the cell are responding to the treatment. This is what’s known as the first benchmark, as research shows that it takes about 3 months of treatment before any conclusive results can be drawn. I have another 2 such benchmark tests in the first year, culminating in another bone marrow test (Yay, needles in my ass!).

So thats the latest. I go to my first day of work in 2 months tomorrow (I only have 2 appointments, or 2 hours of work), and on Wednesday I was invited by my friend Zack Dettmore to a show for the Friends and Writers of the Daily Show at the Comix club in NYC (Zack’s father works for the Daily Show – score!). So I’m really excited about that. I’ll give updates on those, and other, things as they arrive. Oh, and I’m twenty three years old! Thanks to everyone for keeping me alive and out of sewers.