Oh, what a glorious day in Moscow! No cloudy skies could possibly dampen this day. THIS IS THE DAY THAT MY LEUKOCYTE NUMBERS HAVE BEGUN TO CLIMB!! This is the beginning of the engraftment period in which my stem cells will begin to hone into position and set up camp with my new MS-free immune system. Dr. Fedorenko predicts complete engraftment with 2 days. The goal leukocyte level is 1.0 for complete engraftment. We had already met this morning, but the numbers weren’t in yet, so, I showed him my new trick. I leaned over my tablet, gently swished my fingertips through my bangs and a flurry of wisps of hair came floating down like snowflakes. His eyes twinkled over his face mask and you could see that he was grinning. His voice rose and he said “I predict, when I get your bloodwork results today, engraftment will have begun!” He says that he will return in 30-45 minutes with the results. When he returned, he told me that my levels had climbed from 0.12, yesterday, to 0.28, today and that, in fact, engraftment had begun. He reminded me that the normal range of engraftment takes place within 7-10 days and mine should land at 8. He also let me know that my platelet levels would now be adequate enough that I would not require any platelet infusions.. Yay! To avoid the risk of a cut, he would still like me to wait to have my head shaved. So, in the meantime, I will be playing “Lunch Lady”(see pic below) in my room for a couple of days. Like I’ve said…”Everybody looks good in blue.”
As far as my state of health. I remain weak, but in very good spirits. All vitals are phenomenal. Appetite is fantastic. No pain or discomfort…AT ALL. To date, not a single pain medication taken short of the surprise shot in the rump for a headache that was completely uncalled for. I still struggle to get enough sleep at night, but am trying to make up for it with daytime naps.
The nurses now give me a two-handed fist pump when they show up to do my bloodwork and IVs in the morning. I, of course, return the gestures. Team spirit is contagious!
Please take a moment to celebrate with me today with one of my favorite Gloria Estefan dance tunes called “Higher” by clicking on the graphic below. It’s perfect for the occasion and it gets my blood pumping every time and gives you an idea where my spirits are at the moment. Woo hoo! Step it up and go “higher”!!