This is day 8 of a 100 day of my autologous stem-cell transplant. We have completed several batches of blood tests to make sure I’m healthy enough to endure this procedure and to get good markers for the boundaries of my cancer. I have just a few more tests left, echo-cardiogram, bone scan, and full body MRI. But so far the procedure is a go. Unless something comes up, I will become an inpatient at UW on May 17th as they start to stimulate my own stem cells. Once my stem cells are harvested, a couple of days later, my bone marrow will be burned out and then my stem cells re-infused. We will now be living in Seattle for the summer except for brief visits to Anacortes.
The good news and bad news:
- We did an accurate measurement of my cancer cells (Lambda light chains). I was concerned because the last test showed the cancer cells starting to surge (129), and that was while I was still on chemo. But I’ve been off chemo for 3 weeks and was fearful that it was worse. However, to our surprise, the numbers have come down quite a lot, to 25, which is near normal. That is good news. See the graph below:
- We did a careful measurement of my renal function. While I produce above normal urine, and my kidneys keep my electrolytes in the normal range, my “creatinine clearance” from a 24-hour urine observation is only 24, which is about 40% of what it needs to be to get off dialysis. This is bad news and very discouraging. I did start dialysis in downtown Seattle, but somehow the “bath” was not correct for me and my neurological symptoms have been much worse. These are my major symptoms, constant twitching, cramping, and jerking.