Fun with polls
Yesterday we met with Dr. Vasu our head hematologist. We talked to her more about the possibility of transplant. One of my potential matches from the donor registry has been contacted and has sent in a blood sample. We will know in a couple weeks how good of a match this person is. We also talked about the pros and cons of a bone marrow transplant. It’s a risky procedure that may not be necessary for me but there is no way to know. The risks of transplant that the doctor is most concerned about is graft-vs-host-disease. The decision will be made when we see how close of a match I have and how well I’m responding to chemo. I can follow the clinical trial’s plan of chemo for 2.5 years or go for a transplant. Reminiscent of our agonizing decision with the breast cancer to choose between a bilateral mastectomy or a second lumpectomy, radiation and medically induced menopause we one again have to choose between this shitty option or that shitty option. This time it’s less our choice and more the doctors but they weigh our opinion seriously. This time with the possibility of death or serious complications threatening at either end it makes the breast cancer treatment decision from last summer seem easy.
As a vocabulary review, Neutropenia occurs after chemotherapy when the patient is most susceptible to infection. The immune system is wiped out due to the depletion of white blood cells. Neutrophils are white blood cells produced in the bone marrow. The average adult has a neutrophil level of 1500.
>greater than 1000. Normal protection against infection
>500-1000. Some increased risk of infection
>200-500. Great risk of severe infection
>lower than 200. Risk of overwhelming infection; requires hospital treatment with antibiotics
This game is called Guess Lauren’s current level of neutrophils