This is One Hell of a Concert
The Bieber fever continues. Typically I will get chilled, then very hot, then the fever will break, then we’ll do it all over again. I haven’t had a fever free day since this all started. Most days I’ll have multiple fevers. Every time I sweat and think the Bieber fever is finally done, it comes back out for another encore song. There’s really no telling how long this will last. My immune system is compromised and my body’s only way to fight off infection is to turn up the heat so to speak.
You may want to validate this explanation with Dr. Google, but here is what is essentially happening to me. My white blood cell count is very low. Normally when my body detects infection, it would send out neutrophils to attack and destroy the bacteria in my body. Since my counts are low and my bone marrow hasn’t recovered enough to produce new WBCs in a sufficient amount, my body doesn’t have its natural defense mechanism. If it detects an infection, the only self defense it has is to raise my body temperature to fight off the infection. So my body is currently going through cycles of fever until it can produce enough WBCs to fight off infection.
When Will It Ever End
The reality is, we don’t know how long this will last. For what it’s worth, both times I’ve had neutropenic fever previously it didn’t last nearly this long so I’m in uncharted territory. My initial set of cultures came back negative and my repeat cultures are negative so far. Basically my bone marrow was damaged by the chemo (it’s intended effect) and we are waiting on it to recover. There’s no easy way to tell if that should have been today, or will be tomorrow, or might be another day. They will continue to draw daily labs and when my white counts start to tick up, that will hopefully let us know this will all end soon.
Game, Set, but not a Match
On Tuesday I received word that my sister is not a match to be my bone marrow donor. This is definitely a bummer, but ultimately doesn’t have an overall impact on my treatment. Having Michelle as my donor would have made things incredibly convenient and easier, but they will still use the same 10 markers I was hoping to match Michelle on to match me with someone else. Here’s a pretty good overview (https://bethematch.org/for-patients-and-families/finding-a-donor/hla-matching/). My BMT Coordinator has entered my information into the registry. She has prioritized 3 potential matches and has requested more information from those people. If one of them is a match and a willing donor, then we’d move forward with transplant (accounting for their schedule). If all 3 aren’t 10/10 matches, then the coordinator would request 3 more potential matches. I’m not sure how many potential matches I have total, but we’ll just cross that bridge if we get to it. Remember, you have a 1 in 100,000 chance of being my donor. If you register and end up being my match, I’ll buy you a beer.
And the Powerball Numbers Are:
Hemoglobin – 6.8
Platelets – 108
I might have made that last number up, but I’m too lazy to get up and double check. Also, now is a good time to mention I’ve received a unit of packed red blood cells, irradiated and leukocyte reduced each of the past 2 days. If you are O neg or O pos, your blood my be coursing through my veins right now. I hope you eat healthy.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
I’m not gonna lie. This sucks. Not knowing is hard. Not doing things I’m used to doing is hard. Being away from my family is hard. But you never promised a life of easy living. We live in a fallen world and are in constant battle. I have chosen the right side. I have chosen your side. I will fight the battles I am given and live as You lead. I continue to pray for healing. For strength through this journey. That you would carry me through the lows and we will dance through the highs. I thank you for another day.