(click the link above to hear my favorite holiday song while you read this update.).
I’ve completed Round 5 of HyperCVAD. One more round to go…. consisting of two hospitalizations…and treatment will be finished. I endured another bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday. These are painful but necessary procedures. Results should be available right after Christmas and I fully expect they will be consistent with the last 3 - that I am still MRD negative…meaning no detectable cancer cells. Meaning the treatment is working.
The last couple of weeks have not been without complication. Last week, I spiked a fever and had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. My blood numbers were extra low…which resulted in this neutropenic fever. Essentially, the cumulative effect of the chemo was hammering my bone marrow so hard that it caused the fever. I was hospitalized for a couple of days…received 3 units of blood and a unit of platelets to bolster my immunity. All of this was not unexpected or inconsistent with the ongoing treatment. I went home after a couple of days…feeling fine and today I continue to feel great.
However, in consultation with Dr. M, it was determined that I would do well with an additional break from chemo to build up my strength and get my blood numbers up so I can fight another day. I was actually scheduled to be back at Cedars as of yesterday to start my 6th and final round of chemo, but that will be delayed until after New Year’s…Jan 3rd to be exact. This gives me a good long break with no treatment and the gift of a very restful holiday season here at home. It is the longest I’ve gone without chemo since May. It does push back my final two hospitalizations a bit, but I’m actually relieved to have the break. My body has been pretty beat up. My numbers are already improving and I should continue to improve throughout the rest of December.
So I’m really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Celebrating Christmas in the usual manner (movies and Chinese food) and a small NYE gathering at home.
Whatever your holiday plans, I sincerely hope you enjoy the time and are able to observe treasured traditions with family and friends. I wish you Joy!