Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Great Monocytic Purge

D+13 and we're there. The Cover Song.

The Great Monocytic Purge.

Has a bit of a ring to it, wouldn't you say?

Over the past 7 days, I and the doctors here have been slowly dripping toxic chemicals directly into my blood, specifically to target those fast growing monoblasts, young immature monocytes stuck in some twilight zone where they never grow up but they still divide and spread. This week, millions of these cells have witnessed and experienced unceremonious death, as the rivers and streams filled with a deadly poison. Some of them were even scared, I am sure. They would have run for the hills.

They would not have gotten far. The air they breathe, the rain that falls... everything around them wreaked of their doom, and they knew it! They could smell their time quickly fading into nothingness.

A Holocaust in my bone marrow. Don't kid yourselves, folks, that's exactly what it is. And it's exactly what I wanted it to be.

The Great Purge.

During the Purge, the lactate dehydrogenase spiked to over 12,000 from a normal level of 135-225 due to all of the unchecked cell death. The monoblasts tried to snuff out my neutrophils and my megakareocytes and ultimately my platelets. And they damned near succeeded too. But what they didn't expect was that I would have Science on my side.

Faceless donors gave me plasma, and platelets, and blood. Generations of lab scientists gave me drugs to counter the kamikaze style "If I go, you're coming with me" mentality of these particularly sick monocytes. Doctors and nurses monitored me night and day and paid special attention to my needs. There were days 5, 6, 7 people would come in to my room one at a time and listen to my heart. Listen to my lungs. Check my biopsy site for infection. Every 4 hours someone comes in and checks my temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level. They measure everything that went in and everything that went out. It's Science!

And Science works.

So here we are. A new dawn. A Red Dawn, as blood has been spilled by those who needed to leave. Those who are left must now clean up. They must rebuild. And they will, for they are smart cells, and healthy cells, and they know their role in the collective. Neutrophils do what they do so that every other cell can do what it does, and as long as that very idea does not break down their system keeps working. I keep working, and that's good for me. The fact is, I am a living being, but I am a giant walking collective, and there are many strong and brave wee little cells that work tirelessly every day to make sure I stay at my best so that they have a home.

They almost lost their home this time around, and don't kid yourself on this either. We still have a good 5 months to go, if things go well. We won the first battle. We lined them up and knocked them down. But we will work together to make sure we see this through to the end. By the time I finish this blog, my healthy cells and I will have formed a bond unlike any I ever thought possible.

We will fight.

And we will win.


Vogue said...

Stay strong and stay positive Bulwyf Broclergaard, and you will win the fight!

Strange but True said...

You have tiger blood... therefore you are Winning!

Ron Vega said...

A fittingly epic post. I tried to come up with a film metaphor, but nothing seemed quite epic enough.