Some "Bad Guys"
Yesterday's labs showed blasts down to 1% from the 13% they had been four days prior.
But the doctor said they were still leukemic blasts (bad guys) (both days).
I used roughly the same four day herbal regimen three times over (Sep. 5-8, 9-12, and 13-16) with a few minor tweaks. (for example: the dosages on the evening of the 12th were a bit different (more intense) from the evening of the 8th.)
Yesterday's herbal dosages were a bit light (focusing on nutrition)
...and sure enough, today blasts jumped (from 1% to 2%) :(
Now, I guess it is possible for normal marrow to have some blasts (especially if it is recovering marrow), and there are other things in his blood (metamyelocytes) that are normally only in recovering marrow.
I'm not sure if any part of that 1% yesterday are normal blasts, or if they are all bad guys.
(I wasn't the one looking at the slide counting them) (I want to start looking at those slides).
But we know at least some of them are bad (per the doctor). So if there are still "bad guys" in his blood that must mean there are enough of them in his marrow to spill over into his blood.
Notice his platelets, red blood cells, and hemoglobin are slowly decreasing (see labs on 9th, 12th, and 16th). This, I suppose, could be because I'm "attacking" his marrow with herbal medicines. However, those decreases could also (more likely?) be attributed to a growing tumor burden (leukemic cells) in his marrow.
Another puzzle is this. The doctors have reiterated in the past that one of their most sensitive tests is the VNTR. So I asked for a VNTR test (Devon/Jaymun - Donor/Recipient) last Wednesday to validate whether this was the original leukemia or not. The VNTR test finally came back and it was ...100% donor! So does that mean he had (by the most sensitive measure) no leukemia last Wednesday even though there were 1% blasts? If so, and he had 3% leukemic blasts the Friday before, then our four day herbal regimens really kick butt! (at least for peripheral blood). Or is it that we have some new leukemia (a secondary cancer?). If so ...what kind is it? Again ...I'm getting mighty curious to see those blasts myself. I can't believe we've come this far and I never collected my own copies of the pictures of the actual little buggers we are fighting against so hard.
This is just me thinking out loud, by the way, I'm sure the doctors already have this figured out.
In any event, it is time to take another "peek inside"
...and so we are going tomorrow down to the hospital for a bone marrow aspirate (also a diagnostic spinal tap?)