Day +106. Today, I received the results from the recent chimerism test (taken around day +90) and bone marrow biopsy. So far, I’m still 100% donor — peripheral blood cells, B & T cells, and neutrophils — and the cellularity of my marrow is between 20-30% with definitive presence of maturing cells for all lineages. This. is. huge.
The reason why this is huge: in previous bone marrow biopsies (BMBx), specifically the first one I got which helped my care team determine I had severe aplastic anemia, my marrow was severely hypocellular meaning there were <10% cells in the marrow and no signs of any maturing cells. Even the biopsy I got after the BMT graft that failed last summer before the SCT this past fall showed marked hypocellularity. FYI, A normal healthy 20-something has ~50% cells in their marrow, with the other ~50% made up of fat, muscle, bone, fibrous, and other types of cells.
So, I’m ecstatic to say that the SCT is successfully working so far! My counts have been fluctuating week to week, with my RBCs dropping a bit this week, but overall it seems that my cell counts aren’t crashing and are in a safe, albeit low, range. I’m hoping as we continue to taper down the cyclosporine and finish off the prophylaxis drugs (some of which are immunosuppressant too), we’ll see the counts rise steadily into the normal range and everything will be peachy. *fingers crossed*
Lately, I’ve been getting outside more and trying to walk as much as I can. I’ve been playing this balancing-act game with my body. I want to push myself to increase my physical stamina on a day to day basis, without pushing too hard to knock me out for the count. So far, I haven’t been very successful. I’ve overexerted myself a few times which leaves me tired and recovering in bed for a day or two afterward. I’m starting to get the hang of it though, and I’m better aware of when enough is enough and I should rest or stop what I’m doing.
Recovery is a double-edged sword and is proving to be one of the most challenging processes I’ve ever endured so far. Mentally, I know I should be able to clean my room, do my laundry, walk a few miles, cook all my meals, make and keep plans with friends, and work out in a single day, but in reality, the day is a win if I get two of those things done in a day. So, it’s a slow process. A slow, long process.