Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Results Day!

Today was the bone marrow aspirate results day. For the past 3 or 4 days, I have been getting increasingly worried about this. I know this goes against my recent philosophy of trying not to worry, but this test is really important. It tells you whether the last 3 weeks of chemo have done anything and, as importantly, whether you are classified as reaching 'complete remission'. This is defined, morphologically, as having less than 5% blasts in the bone marrow and is an indication that the chemo is working. If you don't hit 5% your chances for cure drop significantly.

The last three days have been hell - whilst I didn't stress as such, my mind kept pondering my 'next steps' if the results were bad. What would I change? What would I do?

I was literally shaking when I was with the doctor and none of my sentences were coming out straight. Eventually we got to the pivotol point and I am delighted to say that my results were excellent. I had 2% blasts in the morphological test (cell smearing test) which is just about what normal people have (everbody has a certain number of blasts that are precursors to normal blood cells).

I get the results of a more detailed test later - this test is called a flow cytology test which analyses each and every white blood cell in the sample and counts whether it is normal or leukemic. Fingers crossed this is a good result to.

Once I was told, relief washed over me and I was genuinely thriled for the first time since I was diagnosed.

Me, and family celebrated by going out to a restaurant for lunch - the first time I had been out in a normal social scenario since I was diagnosed.

Looking back, I suspect I have been over-cautious in terms of isolation whilst in hospital and moreover isolation through avoiding crowded places since I've been out.

However, I think my motivation for this is as follows: When you have leukemia, or any serious illness, there is very little you can do to help your treatment.

The main things are:
- eating well
- drinking well
- remaining calm and stress free
- keeping yourself free of illness

That's it - you can add meditation and self-belief, etc, which I also strongly believe in, but there's nothing physical you can do, like physiotherapy, that will help you heal. Because of this, I think I'm trying to put 150% effort into doing each of the above just so it feels that I'm doing something!

All in all, I think I have had a relatively easy ride this round of chemo. I'm fully aware that my future rounds may not be so easy so am not being complacent. I'm still touching wood a lot of the time. I hope next round goes similarly....

(written retrospectively)

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