Monday, October 10, 2011

Game Night!

Well the rest of today was fun. I found out at lunch the hot dogs here are bangin'. I'll be getting another one tomorrow. Also got some lab reports today... those are not so bangin'.

Normal Total White Count (WBC): 4-10
My WBC: 40

Normal Hematocrit (HCT): 40-54
My HCT: 25.2
HCT level where blood transfusion becomes necessary: 25

Normal Platelet Level (PLT): 150-450
My Platelet Level: 96

Here's the kicker...

Normal Neutrophil Count (POLY): 48-76
My POLY: One

One Neutrophil.

Glad I'm on antibiotics!

The pathologist also wrote a personal message on the bottom of the report:

"Medium to large deeply basophilic cytoplasm with prominent nucleoli to be reviewed"

That's probably all those naive monocytes that have no idea they're supposed to find some tissue and blossom into macrophages, resident cells tasked with general maintenance and first responder defense. Ack! It's really sad that they are cancerous and will never get the chance to mature. They don't even know it. It's just some bastard ancestor who decided to mutate into a goddamn cancer cell. What a dick.

But the bright side about my labs is that my liver and kidneys are doing a bang up job out there in the trenches.

Uric acid is right where it needs to be, as is sodium, potassium, and chlorine. The only oddity is Lactate Dehydrogenase.

Normal LDH: 135-225.
My LDH: 923.

Not exactly sure what it does, but I can give you a brief idea of what this means.

Apoptosis is a wonderful thing. Normally, when a cell dies, it commits suicide using a method called apoptosis. It does this in such a way that it appears to implode, successfully removing itself from the body without spilling its innards everywhere. This is especially observable during a viral infection. T-cells (lymphocytes... not the ones affected in me) that have a specific protein on them called CD8 are coined as "killer t cells." During a viral infection, they waltz around gracefully and methodically, going from cell to cell in the infected tissue. If the cells have a virus inside of them, the killer t cell latches on to the infected friend and calls out into the wind, "Today is not your day, my friend. You have a very small fellow living inside of you. I have always been fair, but I have always been tough and now is the time you must accept your peril, and for the good of the collective fall on your sword!" And the sun shines brightly and the trees rock gently and all you hear is the sound of the grass swaying softly in the cool breeze. At this point the cell accepts the CD8+ T-Lymphocyte's decision and undergoes apoptosis. This makes sure the cell dies without bestowing the same virus on its comrades.

It's a pretty wonderful thing eh?

Yeah mine aren't doing that right now. The population explosion of monocytes is choking out the bone marrow and the other blood cells. Cells are dying by the boatloads and are not receiving the correct signals to do it in a proper manner. They're just dying, and as they die they release oodles of LDH into my blood.

Alas, there is only so much the liver and kidneys can be expected to do. When is it too much, I ask?! When?!! Oh how I adore the liver, with its spacial consumption and metabolic perfection. And the kidneys, regulating electrolytes like a wizard regulates mana. Or sorceress/witch/female wizard, I don't discriminate here.

My point is, we played monopoly tonight. Kym and my mom were around, so we started a game sometime this afternoon. We took breaks, as you might expect. I donned a mask and gloves and left my room, going for a few walks around my floor. I also took a killer nap around 4, waking up an hour later and feeling like a new man. But the kind of new man who still can't go outside. The oxycodone helped that too, I'm sure. The pain of my wound is still pretty disabling, so Onk and the nurses are helping me out there.

Between 1100 and 1750 I was untethered as my vitals were good, my liquids were good, and I was between some meds.

I have a new oral care routine. One anti-bacterial mouthwash 2 times a day. One anti-fungal 3 times a day (I swallow that one!), and no more toothbrush. I now use tiny green sponges on sticks to gently remove plaque and food. They gave me a directly applied goo to help the pain of the sore on my tongue, so eating is easier now. I really wish it would just go away though. (Spoiler alert, my mouth will be a train wreck by the end of treatment).

For dinner I ordered a Mighty Shake™ which is amazing. Nice and cold, tasty and good, and no one can yell at me for eating junk food because it's made from corn and corn is a vegetable.

Ahh yes, the game.

Later in the night we began playing again. I got lucky with a few rolls and made some trades at the right times and I am happy to say I am the 1% today. Suck that, people who want jobs.

Plans for tomorrow include a bone marrow biopsy, echocardiogram, and blood spigot installation. Here's me rooting especially for the blood spigot!

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