Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Clotting Challenges - Health Update

The night before last, I groomed my dog, Tucker. He is a poodle mix so it is necessary to groom and clip him especially when he turns into a puff ball of fur that can no longer see. As I brushed him, I saw a scratch on my arm. No big deal, just a little scratch, not sure how it happened. What was unusual about this little scratch was the bubble of blood it produced. I thought to myself, hummm, I wonder if that means my platelets are really low; little scratches usually clot quickly. I applied some pressure; the bleeding stopped. I found my dog inside that puff ball and didn’t give it another thought.

Yesterday morning I drove to my infusion appointment, went through the maneuvers of checking in, getting my port accessed, and then sitting while waiting to see the Physician’s Assistant I have been seeing a lot of these days. She came in, greeted me and said, “Well, you’re not going to be happy with your platelet count.”

She was right. When a normal number is between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood then my current number of 67,000 is not a good level.

For a while, my platelets have been bouncing between 80,000 and 90,000. In November, they were 70,000. By early December, the number was 75,000. On January 3rd my blood work revealed a small increase to 80,000. These numbers can bounce around even if my blood counts were redone an hour later. Would it bounce up to 90,000? Probably not.

I have had platelet troubles before. In order to improve them, we tried increasing the time between treatments. It worked sometimes, but in the end dose reduction to 80% of full-dose of my current drug treatment--TDM-1-- was the most effective change. When my platelets started to fall again, it was decided that as long as my numbers didn’t drop below 50,000, I could receive treatment.

Yesterday's platelet count was above 50,000 which is within the treatment range, but since there is no protocol to follow for people like me--on this drug almost three years--it was decided in an effort to do no more harm than necessary, it would be better to wait another week before treating. While disappointing, I am okay with the decision. I have been feeling more tired than usual, so maybe one more week might help that too. Next week, I get to do this all over again hopefully leaving with infusion #61 overall and #44 for TDM-1 completed.

In February-- the 20th –scans will be done. Oh the anxiety . . . my nesting instinct has been in full swing, organizing this and moving that just in case my life changes dramatically. The thought of it leaves my stomach tight and internally I feel I might explode.

Until next time . . .

Thanks for checking on me.


  1. The anxiety must be overwhelming. I'm sorry.

    1. Thank you. So glad my friend Sandie commented below because some how I missed seeing this note from you. I always appreciate you stopping by and leaving me your kind words.

  2. I'm sorry I didn't know you lost Jet. This is beautiful.

    1. Yes, the all too familiar consequence of time. Our shetland sheepdog died in June. She was 15. Now we have four dogs all around the age of 6, so hopefully none will be leaving us anytime soon.