Real life is messy. If I were living in a Hallmark movie (my least favorite movies) then the results of my lab tests would have been overwhelmingly positive and clear. But there is good news with caution. My potassium level did come down by three decimal points. Not much, but moving in the right direction and putting me back in the normal (but high-normal) range. For this I am very happy.
The word of caution is that I’m still not out of the woods. I will not have to go back on dialysis for the next week but have my blood drawn daily. I achieved this dropping of my potassium level by a very strict diet of eating nothing but plain noodles without any toppings for two days, and in a measured quality. This diet is not sustainable, but is extremely low-potassium. Time will tell, but I’m still on thin ice.
I met with my doctor this afternoon and we know the plan. I will be re-admitted to the University of Washington on June 9th and on that day I will receive my first dose of harsh chemotherapy to kill the bone marrow and cancer cells. On June 10th I will receive the second dose of chemotherapy. I will have one day off and then my stem cells will be re-infused on June 12 and 13. I will remain in the hospital (depending on my side effects and etc.) for a couple of weeks.
The choice that we must make now is whether I’m given a low or higher dose chemo. The higher dose will increase the mortality of the treatment by double (from 2-4%). It will definitely increase the bad side effects. However, it has a better chance of putting the cancer into lasting remission from 25% to 45% chance. It is a tough call. Life is messy.