Day 48: The Chimera That Wasn’t.

Day +48. Just got the results from the most recent chimerism test of my cells (T, B, and neutrophils) and the percentage donor cells dropped from 42% overall to 5% overall. Not a good thing. This helps explain why my cell counts have been slowly dropping over the past two weeks, in addition to some of the drugs I’m taking which are known to lower counts. By the way, my counts have been steadily dropping over the past two weeks. Nothing is in the critically dangerous range, thankfully, but they have been trending downward.

The plan moving forward is to stop all immunosuppressants (the drugs Tacrolimus and CellCept) and weekly monitor the chimerism status in hopes of getting the donor cells to grow since we’re removing the “brakes” that are the immunosuppressants. Worst case scenario if my counts continue to drop and the donor cells don’t pick up is we’ll ask my donor for a hematopoietic stem cell donation and I’ll get a stem cell transfusion. The expectation is that the stem cells with help supplement the marrow transplant, differentiating into the appropriate sub-cell types and aiding in the repopulation of immune cells. The stem cell infusion is outpatient and fairly similar to getting a blood transfusion, e.g. being hooked up to a pump and receiving the goods, so non-invasive and painless.

I’m not worried at all. I have complete faith that my donor cells will pick up and I’ll start to rebuild a functioning immune system. Until then, I’m still holding tight and trying to recover as quickly as possible while maintaining my sanity.

On the upside, my RBCs and hemoglobin are steadily increasing! Which is fantastic. And I’m gaining more energy as the weeks pass. Which is wonderful.

Speaking of maintaining sanity, I apologize for not having updated in a while! The days just seem to pass by so quickly as of late. What I’ve been up to:

– I churned out another vocal arrangement for Resound of Mumford and Son’s Below My Feet. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’m super excited to hear it come together.

– I’m working out a few donut recipes! Cake donuts, yeast donuts, different flavor combos, the works. This is part of a potential business venture a friend of mine and I are considering embarking upon. More details and pictures to come.

– Home errands. Now that I’m gaining more energy and mental faculties, I’m finally able to do all those little home projects I’ve always wanted to do. So far I’m rearranged my room, cleaned my closet (a major feat), and sorted through a bunch of things in my “junk” box…es. Spring cleaning never felt so good!

– Working through a brain puzzle book my friends Dan and Logan T. got for me. Gotta work on those brain muscles as much as my body ones! Verbal, visual, numerical, and logical puzzles galore. I love tickling my brain and having to think again.

– Binge watching Game of Thrones. I’ve gone through all four seasons in the past 7 days. It’s a problem, but I love it. #winteriscoming

As my brain and body are slowly coming back to a functioning state, I’m finding myself craving to do more and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been able to knock things off my weekly to-do list. If I don’t make a to-do list at the beginning of the week, simple tasks and errands I want to accomplish during the week and/or each day, I end up squandering my time on pointless, mindless Netflix binging. So to be a more productive member of society, as much as is within my limitations of a recovering BMT patient, I happily make and complete my to-do lists. It’s the little things really. 🙂


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