Wonderful news today -- my white count is up to 6200 and my neutrophils jumped to 2910! My iron and platelets are also climbing on their own, so no transfusions. The doctor came in to tell me while I was napping and said she thought it was worth waking me up. I agreed. They are in the process of removing my antibiotics. I'll go home with two of them, so they're changing from IV to oral. Dr. Papageorgio said this morning that he expects me to go home on Monday, possibly Tuesday morning. I'm rooting for Monday, and I'm stopping at Outback on the way home for a salad to go! :-)
Dr. Papageorgio also said he plans to refer me to the transplant team at Barnes in St. Louis to consult with them regarding a bone marrow transplant. He expects they will tell me to just go home and enjoy life, because I'm in the moderate risk group for relapse. Statistically my chances of relapse are less than the chances of dying from a transplant. It's something we're praying about, and right now we're not wanting to do a transplant, so I trust the Lord's leading in the matter, just as He has gone before us in every other step of this journey.
I think they're going to leave my Hickman catheter in place until the consult, just in case, but that should be within the next week or so. Assuming they tell me I'm not a candidate for transplant, I'll come back in for outpatient surgery to have the catheter removed. I admit I'd prefer not to take it home with me, because I always worry about Gary pulling on it or snagging it on something. Plus, I'll need to take care of the bandage and flushing the lines myself, and it kind of grosses me out. But, that's life, and I know I'll have help with it if I need it. (It's located below my collarbone on my right side in case I've failed to mention.) Several of the nurses have asked me if I'll go to nursing school after all this, but there's no way. I respect them greatly, but could never do their job. I don't have the stomach for it at all. It's challenging enough making it through IVs, blood draws, shots, and everything else I've had in the last 6 weeks. I've had my fill of it!
The nicest thing about being out of neutropenic stage is that I can finally kiss my husband again. Unfortunately he's on a business trip right now, but I'm looking forward to having him home. Gary was in today and I gave him ever so many kisses. It's a nice feeling to not be terrified of touching another person.
So today has just been full of praises that my counts are going up, and that the doctors are so optimistic about things. I'll be seeing the oncologist often for check-ups, but they aren't planning any follow-up consolidation (chemo) treatments since I'm 100% clear, so that is a praise as well. I am just amazed and astounded at God's work in my life, our lives, and it has been a wondrous thing to see His answers to the prayers of thousands on my behalf. I don't know what the next few years will bring, but I know God does, and that gives me peace. I do know that I value every day now in a way I never did before, and I have come to realize how utterly dependent we are upon the Lord, and how He sustains each of us daily. We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made -- I have witnessed the horrors a single cell change can cause.
"But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works." Psalm 73:4