Thursday, January 8, 2009

Luiz's health update

Continued good news (relatively speaking) regarding Luiz’s health. After a two month period Luiz had a complete blood work-up. We met with a member of his team at INCA to discuss the results.

Overall he continues to progress at a very slow pace. Terrific news. Blood numbers continue to creep in the wrong direction, but slowly enough that for all practical purposes his status today is the same as it was two months ago. Although for those of us who worry, we see the progression in spite of the reassurance from the physician. (I actually graph the changes over time for a number of key indicators.) Luiz – our super sweetie – sees the glass ¾ full every day.

As an example of just how slowly Luiz’s situation is moving consider this: Treatment will be indicated when (among other things) his lymphocyte count DOUBLES over a thirty day period. That is, the level of non-functioning white blood cells gets to a place that necessitates their removal to make room for more functioning cells, so they can do their job.

In early November, 2008 Luiz’s lymphocyte count was 18,485 (normal range is 800 – 4,500). In early January, 2009 (a sixty day period) the count was 19,376. That is a near 5% increase. Remember, the bells go off when there is a 100% increase in just thirty days.

He is scheduled to return in another sixty days. If things keep up like this he will then be asked to return after ninety days. Not much going on. It’s all good (in this bad world of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.)

Thanks again for all the supportive wishes you all have sent Luiz’s way.

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