Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ofa 6 Complete!

Things went well for Terry's infusion today. It was even a fairly short day compared to other days.
Blood Counts today aren't terrific, but seem to be common numbers ... all low:
WBC = 3.3(L)
RBC = 3.78(L)
Platelet = 74(L)
Neutrophils = 1.7(L)
We don't know what to think about those counts, we wish we understood things better and knew what to do to fix those numbers.
We do like that the liver counts are much better, though we still don't understand why ... and we don't know if they will stay there. Surely they will change like all the other counts. At least they are good for today ... we'll take it.
AST = 42(H) high by one [normal range is 15-41], and lowest it's been for a very long time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Welcoming Spring!

Can you see what is in this bunch of raspberry stalks?
Look closely!
There are two somethings.

Here they are again!
Maybe a bit easier to see.

This one is much easier to see ... and the daffodils are so pretty ... I'm loving some of the first signs of spring. The bunny was too - it looked like one tulip leaf was completely consumed by that cute little thing. I suppose we better see some tulips in a little while or those bunnies won't seem as cute.

I saw this one critter on my first trip to the homestead yesterday afternoon. I was still in the car talking on the phone, wishing our son a happy birthday, and this cute thing was running around.

The first photos were taken a few minutes later - I had to leave for a few minutes, then when I came back to the homestead, again on the phone wishing our other son a happy birthday, I saw those other cute critters.
The two bunnies are harder to see in the photos, but I did get to see them run into the raspberries. It was fun to watch them for a few minutes.

Welcoming Spring for sure!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shout Out!

Happy Birthday Gregory!
We Love You!

Happy Birthday Brandon!
We Love You!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Ofa" today!

Today's infusion went well. We really like the Wenatchee infusion nurses. It's nice to be in the same clinic as our doctor too. We had a fun day - if infusions can be fun!
Terry's blood counts today:
WBC = 4.1(L) lower than last week, but they say it was probably high last week to help fight off the bronchitis/cold Terry had/has.
RBC = 3.81(L)
Platelets = 81(L) that's pretty good - highest it's been in a long time.
Neutrophils = 2.1 Still NORMAL!
Calcium, Sodium, Potassium = all good / normal range.
(we didn't get the liver counts today)

Terry's bronchitis is getting better - we are happy the prescription is working.

(Image is from HERE)

Monday, March 19, 2012

What's Up with the Count?

Those higher blood counts Terry had on Thursday didn't keep illness away. He had a terrible weekend - bronchitis that speedily progressed and flu-like symptoms that kept him miserable.

We got to see the doc today ... started on a prescription med ... hoping for improvement soon.

Results of today's blood draw (since we were in the clinic) amaze us.

RBC = 3.98(L)
Platelets = 57(L)
Ab Neutrophils = 3.7 NORMAL!

Can you believe that he is NORMAL in two counts? WOW! We like that.
It must mean something ...

but what?

Too bad the higher counts didn't keep him healthy! I guess when you have no immune system it's a bit tricky.

(Image of Count Duckula is from HERE)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One More Infusion of OFATUMUMAB

Today went well! It's a love-hate kinda thing!

They do their best to make Terry comfy ... at least until they come bug him for his vitals or for speeding up the drip.

WBC = 4.0(L) [normal is 4.5-11.0].
RBC = 3.92(L) [normal is 4.50-5.90].
Platelets = 51(L) [normal is 150-400].
Ab Neutrophils = 2.4 ! That's NORMAL! It hasn't been normal for a very long time - even with help from the Neupogin shots. [normal is 1.8-7.8]. That is what we celebrate today!

(The cute image is from HERE)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Today's Chemo Treatment

We left bright and early again this morning for the chemo appointment in Wenatchee.
Lucky day today - they started out slow and kept speeding up the drip so that eventually Terry was receiving twice the rate as last week, which means we got done a little earlier than last week. No reactions - all went well! YaaHoo!

Today's blood work:
WBC = 3.1(L) - low, but higher than it's been for a long time.
RBC = 4.04(L) - low, but slightly higher than it's been for a long time.
Platelet Count = 48(L) - right about where it has been for a long time.
Neutrophils = 1.6(L) - low, but higher than it's been for a while.

The doctor sounded encouraged - and said if the numbers are like this next week she will claim that it's the Ofa (chemo) doing it's job.

(Image from HERE)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Life is like a Bicycle

Life is like a bicycle; to keep your balance you must keep on moving.

I like this quote from Albert Einstein - apparently he wrote it in a letter to his son.
Photo and quote was found at

It is important to keep on moving, but even more important to keep on moving in the right direction.

Henry B. Eyring said this;
"You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness."

There is a great story about Smoke Jumpers that helps us learn the importance of Einstein's counsel to keep on moving, and also knowing what direction to move. It's a great read - Start Moving by Von G. Keetch.

"Relaxing on the ridge may seem a safe way to avoid making mistakes, but it’s also a way to avoid making progress."

His closing testimony is this:
"I testify that the best and clearest direction comes in our lives not when we are just waiting for our Heavenly Father to send help and guidance but when we are anxiously engaged with our back bent to the task. To those of you who are waiting upon the Lord for guidance in your lives—who need help with a major decision or question—I give you this challenge: Prayerfully and carefully use your own intelligence and your own resources to choose a path that seems right to you. Then become anxiously engaged in walking that path (see D&C 58:26–28). When the time for course correction comes, He will be there to help you and to guide you.

The best and clearest direction comes in our lives not when we are just waiting for our Heavenly Father to send help and guidance but when we are anxiously engaged with our back bent to the task."

(But don't read just this closing testimony, the story HERE is a great read.)

So ...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Ofa" Two

Today was Terry's second dose of Ofatumumab and we can report that things went well.

He got the full dose and had no reactions today, just very slight itchiness and a feeling of redness or heat in his face. These were minor enough that he didn't even mention them until the end.
The nurses and our doctor were all so pleased with the way his body accepted this dose, and we were too.

We were surprised to learn that there is a total of 12 doses - not only will there be eight total one week infusions of Ofa, but there will be an additional 4 once a month doses after that. We also learned that they can bump up the rate of infusion next week, so it may not be an all day visit. I guess we'll see how he does then. Hopefully it will be another good day.

We didn't get a written report on the blood work, but we were told that things are about as they were last week. This surprised us a little, because Terry had been feeling very weak and achy, and had terrible headaches this week. We recognized these symptoms from low counts other times and expected low counts again - especially since this drug can cause low counts. With his counts already low I was concerned. I guess we don't have to worry too much about the counts any more than normal, so that's good.

It seems that weak, exhausted, and achy feelings accompanied by awful headaches may be caused by Ofa and not low blood counts. The doctor was encouraged by this, thinking that maybe that means it's working. That sounds great, but those painful feelings have occurred before, with that same hope and it's not really been working the way we wished. I guess we will take what we can get when we can get it. We are grateful to have things as good as they are - they could be worse.

(Image above is from HERE)