The past month has been concentrated on getting Joe's hematocrit to a safe level. When Joe hah a routine visit with Dr. Winton at Winship at Emory on July 25, Joe's hematocrit was at 54.7 which is considered high. Dr. Winton ordered a phlebotomy at the Infusion Lab. What a change from when Joe was having chemo when his counts were low and needed to have red and platelet transfusions. It seems like the HyperCVAD has jumped started Joe's bone marrow where it is producing blood again. The trial drug, Ruxolitimib (INCYTE), for his Myelofibrosis usually suppresses the blood counts which has been in Joe's history when he took it before he was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Joe had a total of two phlebotomies before the hematocrit got to below 45. The danger of having a high hematocrit level is the high risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Since July 31, Joe's was out of danger.
During Joe's last physician visit to Winship at Emory, the medical staff had measured Joe' spleen at only 4cm, nearly NORMAL. When Joe turns sideways, he no longer looks pregnant. He is eating normal now and is slowly gaining weight. His stamina is better and Joe states that he feels good. His hair is now more than a fuzz and has some color to it.
Joe had a visit with his dematologist and had three squamous growths that had to be remove. Dr. Braza did the one of the top of his forehead and a rather large one on the inside of his right arm. I had grabbed Joe in that area and felt the area which seemed like scar tissue so I had Dr. Braza take a look at it. Sure enough, Joe had a chunk of tissue removed from those areas. The one of the side of his forehead above the left eye will have to have the more delicate Mohr's surgery which will be done on the 23rd of August. The stitches were removed today and Dr Braza says the salt water will enhance the healing and to remember to use sun block of at least 30+. I purchased plenty for the both of us as well as Repel for those pesky mosquitoes.
We were ecstatic today when we got the blood tests results. They showed all his basic blood counts in the normal range. To say that we are thankful is so shallow sounding. We rejoice that God has given Joe a great chance of being able to live longer and enjoy life. The power of prayer and faith is so strong.
Here are today's blood results:
White Blood Count...(4-11) actual 4.5 NORMAL
Red Blood Count.......(4.5-6) actual 5.03 NORMAL
Hemoglobin...............(14-18) actual 14.8 NORMAL
Hematocrit................(40-54) actual 47.3 NORMAL
Platelets.....................(140-440) actual 255 NORMAL
Astounding, isn't it?
Joe and I will be celebrating at Breezes Negril Resort in Jamaica for a week. It is an all-inclusive resort which I thought would be a good idea for Joe's first trip outside the country. There will be no running around doing tours or finding local restaurants. The resort is about an hour and a half from Montego Bay Airport on the west cost of Jamaica. Tropical Storm Emily is gone and hopefully no hurricanes will come around while we are there. We have been comparing the Atlanta weather to Negril Beach, Jamaica and it is about 4 degrees cooler there. The nice part is that there is the Caribbean breeze of 10 to 16 mph. Bring me my Pina Colada with the pink umbrella to my beach chair. I will be blogging when I have a chance and if I get motivated.
Bon Voyage my blog readers!