|Mr. R. B. Trout with Mr. Rooker (Dad), who caught it, looking on.|
Hallo folks....well it's been a week now and once again, I am delinquent in passing along good news....on Monday, Jessica (Dr. Kritz' physician's assistant or PA) informed us that the last test for CMV - the pesky little virus - was negative. That was great news, but you may recall that after it showed up uninvited in Houston about a month ago, it went away and then I had two negative tests before it came back positive a couple of weeks ago here in Raleigh. So while it is a cause for rejoicing, we need to pray that it stays away. Other good news from Monday included a strong white count, including a 4100 neutrophil count - that number was 100 about two weeks ago - so that was great news. My platelets also joined the upward march, ticking up about 10,000 to around 65,000. Renee and I were on the proverbial 'cloud 9'.
Many people ask whether a strong neutrophil count (ANC) such as 4100 means I am not susceptible to disease or infection - the answer is no - I am certainly less susceptible than I was when that count was 100, but there are two other reasons I am still exposed to infection - one, my immune system in its entirety is still extremely immature - when the transplant is done, the new cells forget everything they learned in Laure's body - they are sort of a 'clean slate' - they have yet to relearn what to attack and what not to attack. In fact, I will have to go through all the usual childhood immunizations again! The second reason is related to the first - I am on a drug that suppresses my new immune system because it is not yet familiar with its new surroundings - if it were not suppressed it would attack things it isn't supposed to attack (like a liver). I can't quantify the difference in susceptibility but one difference is that with an ANC of 100 they recommend I stay home, while at 4100 they say go ahead and go out, just don't sit in crowds, stay away from sick people, don't go to a childcare facility and start kissing toddlers....etc.
|One of thousands of stunning lakes in the Canadian Rockies (2010)|
I go to the clinic tomorrow for a blood draw - no doctor visit. I'll see the doc Monday and I think they will have another CMV test result that day. It has been a great week; I popped in to work on Tuesday unannounced and because there happened to be a customer in town for a visit, the office was full, so I got to see a lot of my colleagues, which was a real treat - I had not seen most of them for 6 months! I also went to the practice range at my club and swang ;-) the golf clubs for the first time in 6 months....very rusty, but I hit some good ones, which made me smile. I also worked out a couple of times and did a 3 mile walk, so I continue to be blessed with a great recovery. Only the Lord knows what tomorrow will bring - but I am enormously grateful for these wonderful days with Renee, Rachel (home for spring break) and Kenyon. No new pics this week - hope you enjoy the old ones - these will be hanging in my home office shortly.
|On the wild, uninhabited south shore of Maui, 2002|
With enormous gratitude for your friendship, prayers, and support - Dan and Renee