Round 1 Post Treatment Blood Check

I had my post treatment check in this morning with my oncolodoc. Things are moving in the right direction. My WBC is coming down and the rest of my counts are still at overall safe levels. We know those will dip in the coming months but today they are good. Many lymph nodes are starting to show signs of reduction in size as well. That process will take a little time given the slow moving nature of the disease but like I said, we are definitely moving in the right direction.  If I were to assess my status at this point, I would say I am progressing nicely and showing good signs or improvement after round 1.

All in all, I would say that I had a good week last week as well. I had waves of nausea and mild flu like symptoms but they came and went pretty quickly. I wrestled a little bit of fatigue but the post treatment fatigue was better than the fatigue I felt prior to treatment. So I actually felt “better”. I still have my long cascading and raging mane of hair so that’s good. OK so maybe hair loss has never been a concern for me. But I don’t think my buzzed head is any different today than prior to treatment. I was still somewhat sidelined last week because of my chest port incisions but I felt like I could have worked out and definitely felt the desire to work out. I’m trusting in the expertise of those who are smarter than I.

I mentioned having had some downward waves last week but the cool thing is that they were offset by some really awesome positive ones. That’s an odd concept as toxins are working their magic in my system but I kept thinking of the analogy of being internally bleached. I’m littered with lymphocytic waste but the drugs are bleaching me clean and I honestly get waves of feeling bleachy clean. When I think about how enlarged my lymph nodes were/are and how much they were effecting me, the thought of a good bleaching is a welcomed one.

I forget if I shared this or not. While I was on the table having my port inserted I was chatting with the team doing the procedure. (I was technically mildly sedated but I couldn’t tell that I was). They were repeating my vital signs and blood counts amongst themselves and when they got to my white count, I heard one of the nurses say, “wait, hold on, what did you say his WBC was?” The doc and I both chimed in and said that my WBC spike was a product of the disease and likely not a sign of infection. As the doc was concluding the procedure and stitching me up he said something that was a real eye opener. We were talking about CLL, white blood counts, and lymph node enlargement and he piped in with this: “oh I could see how big the lymph nodes are when I was inside. In fact, I had to navigate around some of them to place your port”. That was just further validation that although the return of my symptoms had been very gradual over possibly a few years, they have reached a point where they are impacting me so the decision to treat was the right one.

So the good news is that I have the green light to start working out. I’ll be able to rebuild during these next two weeks before beginning round two of treatment in August. That’s a beautiful thing. That also means that I can race the Tuckahoe Sprint Duathlon next Sunday. It may not be a pretty performance but I can promise you it sure will be a redeeming one.


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