...thats right Ann made Red Blood Cells for the first time today and her Platelets reached normal for the first time since the transplant! The change in the RBCs may not be much compared to last Friday, but it is a definite improvement. It seems that all of Ann's virtual juice boxes, crayons and cookies have encouraged the baby stem cells to do what they are supposed to be doing. In fact this is really the first time Ann has made her own RBCs since she was diagnosed over half a year ago.
There is some more good news from Physical Therapy as well. Because Ann is quite the model patient, the Physical Therapists have been adding exercises for her to do. What started out as a half hour workout has quadrupled. While Ann is on the nautilus, several of the patients came over today and told her how much they admired the effort she was putting out.
Ann has been roughing out a theory that maybe the growth of the baby stem cells is encouraged by exercise. Which would increases circulation, and carry more oxygen to the marrow and in turn encourage the production of more healthy cells. I don't think any studies have been done on the effect of exercise on BMT patients, but it certainly sounds good. Of course the down side to being a physical therapy over-achiever is the sore muscles the next day. Thats a small price to pay though.
We are not out of the woods yet, but now with all the good news we are starting to think about the future as a bit more than a abstract concept. We are beginning to dare to think about the trips we have promised to take to visit family and friends, both old and new. Ann wants to go back to Negril, Jamaica and visit the place we got married again. I'm not sure that the doctors here at MDA would sanction a trip to the Caribbean but we will see. However, right now we are planning trips to the East and West Coast.
In the meantime Ann is really looking forward to being given the all-clear from MDA to leave. After not being able to drive for 6 months she is excited about getting her independence back. She is planning on making the drive back to Baton Rouge herself.