Thursday, September 2, 2010


I love numbers. So during the course of my treatment at the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic, I have seen a lot of numbers! Every day when we go into the clinic they take my temperature and blood pressure (numbers!), draw blood and do a full analysis of the blood sample (more numbers!), which provides tremendous insight into how the body is handling the chemo and new stem cells.

The chart above is a simple excel spreadsheet that I put together to track a few of the more critical measurements they look at each day. The most critical number at present is my White Blood Count (WBC)...the white line in the chart above. White blood cells are the defensive mechanism of the body, fighting off infection, bacteria, etc. Without them, the body has no defense. Unfortunately myeloma is a cancer that uses the plasma associated with the white blood cells to reproduce, so the only way to eliminate the myeloma is to kill off all the white blood cells and then let them reproduce from clean stem cells.

The chart above shows where we are in that process. The day before the stem cell infusion, I received a massive dose of killer chemo (Melphalan) kills most everything it can latch on to. You can see how it is affecting the white blood cells as they have now been almost completely eliminated in 5 days!

From what I remember the doctor explaining, the red blood cells have a longer life cycle and will be impacted in 10-14 days. The platelets track the white blood cells and should be hit hard in the 7-10 day cycle. Meanwhile, the white blood cells should be making a rebound in the 8-10 day window...we will have to see how this symphony plays out! Right now we are DOT+8 and counting!

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12


  1. Glad you are keeping busy tracking all your numbers! Will keep praying that you are able to rest and keep those infections away!

  2. I love your update Ernie! Thanks for the thorough analysis of your progress, complete with charts (of course!). We are praying for you daily and are so glad to see and hear everything is going pretty much according to the plan. Love you man!

  3. what a great visual! love you mr. Ernie!

  4. This chart is SO YOU, Dad! No one else I know would chart their lab results, but I'm so glad that you do! It helps so much in seeing where you've been, where you are, and where you need to get back to. So proud of you for how you are handling all this. Love you so much!