May 21, 2012 - 11:53 pm
My platelets were at 18 when I was first diagnosed with marginal zone B cell lympoma on 4/13. Hard to believe it has only been a little more than a month ago! I'm being treated with Rituxan and Prednisone, nothing else for now because I also have ITP (an autoimmune disorder) that was diagnosed at the same time. The ITP makes CHOP or other kinds of more toxic chemo not an option for me.
I was in the hospital for nearly a month, because my platelets wouldn't budge over 20. After 6 Rituxan treatments they are now at 62, so that is a big improvement! I find myself obsessing about them, and feeling like I'm going out on a first date with tummy butterflies every time I go to the lab for another check. I don't think my oncologist was all that confident that Rituxan alone was going to have such a good effect, and she seems as excited about it as I am. It's so good to have some positive news at last. My hemoglobin and red blood cells are also up, although my white cell count is pretty sad, but hoping they will get with the program eventually.
Once the platelets get up into a more normal range I may end up with the more traditional chemo, or not, the ITP really makes things complicated. Without the Rituxan, not only do I not make enough platelets to begin with (because of the lymphoma), but my body destroys the ones I do make as soon as it detects them (because of the ITP). The concern is that if they take my immune system down to zero, the megakaryocytes in the bone marrow that make platelets won't come back, and then I'm in major trouble. Ugh. So many new vocabulary words that I never wanted to know.
Anyway. Just wanted to share that there was finally some GOOD news! :)