Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nearly 100%

There seem to be several things I'm at nearly 100% recently.

One is in completing the 100 days! Two more days and we're going home, not any too soon, believe me!

Another, I just found out, is in my bone marrow and blood cells. There are several measurements where they compute the percentage. One is in bone marrow cells, and I'm at 98% donor. Another is red blood cells, and I'm at 90% donor, and for plasma cells in the blood, I'm at 100% donor. Amazing numbers.

I'm also just about 100% well, which is also amazing. The only thing slowing me down at all is my lung function, and even that has been stable, with the supplemental alpha-1 antitrypsin treatment I've been receiving.

But mostly I'm 100% glad to be going home to see family and friends again!

I learned about what type of blood I need if I ever need another transfusion. For the most part, I can now get type A, instead of O. The main thing to know, though, is to be sure they test my blood before any transfusion, to see what type I need. That's standard procedure, and they would never transfuse anyone without having tested their blood within 3 days.

I also learned that I've used up all my antibodies for type A, that's why it's safe to get a type A transfusion. Apparently, since I'm not creating any more antibodies for type A, the ones I had got old and expired. So, no part of my blood is attacking the rest of my blood anymore, it's all donor. I just have to watch for my blood attacking the rest of me, and hope that it attacks the myeloma.

All good news, and I can't wait to see all of you again!

2 comments:

Beth said...

Hi Gary,

I hope you're doing well. How is that new immune system working for you?

Beth

Gary Burlingame said...

Hi Beth,

I am doing well, thanks. I hope you are, too.

The new immune system is doing just fine, so far. I've only taken the first step in tapering off the anti-rejection drugs, so it's early to tell, both whether it will attack the cancer (graft vs myeloma) and whether it will attack me (GVHD). But some symptoms have gone away, such as some rough skin around my wrist, as I have tapered off. I like that, and I haven't gotten sick, either, which is very good, too.

I keep intending to update the blog, but I figure everyone knows that there's no update because I'm so busy being glad I'm home! But I'll try to post again soon.

Gary