The wizard has given me a thumbs up – My midnight labs came back with a plethora of white blood cells compared to my previous tests and my magic number (needs to be 1000)  jumped from 920 to 2100. My nurse mentioned I should quit giving my white blood cells a hard time because they obviously have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Today was my last chance to hit the numbers I needed and still progress with the next phase of my treatment on schedule. I’ve had worse mornings.

Update: My father does love his spreadsheets:

Now that I get to pass Go and collect my $200 I have several procedures to look forward to today – most notably a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy. From Wikipedia:

“Typically, the aspirate is performed first. An aspirate needle is inserted through the skin until it abuts the bone. Then, with a twisting motion, the needle is advanced through the bony cortex (the hard outer layer of the bone) and into the marrow cavity. Once the needle is in the marrow cavity, a syringe is attached and used to aspirate (“suck out”) liquid bone marrow. A twisting motion is performed during the aspiration to avoid excess content of blood in the sample, which might be the case if an excessively large sample from one single point is taken.

Subsequently, the biopsy is performed if indicated. A different, larger trephine needle is inserted and anchored in the bony cortex. The needle is then advanced with a twisting motion and rotated to obtain a solid piece of bone marrow. This piece is then removed along with the needle. The entire procedure, once preparation is complete, typically takes 10–15 minutes.”

So far I’ve had two aspirates and biopsy in the last month. Generally they do the procedure on your hip but I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of having one performed on my sternum – big, flat bones are rich in marrow. Once you’ve had one done a few times it’s not that bad but it’s certainly no fun to anticipate. The tests were originally necessary to diagnose ALL and I’m having them re-performed now to confirm that the cancer is in remission now that I’ve completed the first phase of chemotherapy. It’s a little exciting – all my numbers and blood counts look pretty good for a Leukemia patient, all thats left is to see how much (if any) cancer is left in my marrow.

mmm… marrow…

– Austin

    • Maclaine
    • February 2nd, 2010 9:41am

    Wonderful news!! Go go white blood cells 🙂 and rofl @ Carty.

    • Doug
    • February 2nd, 2010 9:53am

    So what is the r-squared value on that best fit line? Happy remission buddy.

    • Cindy Brown
    • February 2nd, 2010 9:57am

    Austin, I am so happy that your white blood cells are cooperating today! Good luck with the procedures you will be having done. Tell your dad that I enjoyed the visual aid. It’s simplicity reminds me of the charts we make at the nursery school 🙂

    • Carly
    • February 2nd, 2010 1:46pm

    Woohoo! What great news!

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