Good Day 9-5-14

My sister-in-law sent some fun things. One of them was a nice set of mustaches. What do you think of my first one?
I received a few funny looks and many compliments thanks to Marie.

I had a visit from Heljä. What a special friend. She has been in Finland this summer so we had a good catch up session. Janice, Heljä, and I went to the prayer garden. Beautiful place. Refreshing to the soul.

I am on RICE round #2, so far tolerating it well. The hard part will be in about nine days or so when my nadir hits. That will coincide nicely with my turning 50 this September 17th.

Best we can tell, the tumor is still responding to the RICE chemo. We are planning on progressing forward with a stem cell transplant. Lots of thoughts and questions about that. Go a long distance (MD Anderson) Vs stay local?

This round of chemo was delayed one week due to fevers, anemia, and low platelet count last week. I received three units of red blood cells last week, but no platelets. I spoke with my oncologist about receiving platelet transfusions in order to not delay rounds of chemo.

She stated I will not receive platelet transfusions until one of these conditions are met: counts below 20,000 -or- active abnormal bruising/bleeding. Platelet counts in the body swing up or down dynamically. They fluctuate rapidly.

Chemo kills rapidly dividing cells. Platelets grow rapidly. The average life of a platelet cell is only eight days. Contrast that with red blood cells that live about 120 days.

Even if I were to receive platelets as a temporary boosting measure, this would not address the underlying issue that my bone marrow production is sluggish. My body cannot keep up. It will continue to be a close “cat and mouse game” of hitting me as hard as possible with chemo while respecting the baseline production of healthy cells. A transfusion of platelets does not resolve the issue of slow bone marrow production.

I have one of my sisters coming to visit today. Should be fun. More later, thanks for your prayers and feedback.

Please leave comments or questions on this post in the comments section, or email me at


About Robert I Baxter

Greatest Commandment is #1. Follower of Jesus, husband, father, RN, love photography, cancer survivor of Burkitt's twice (2008 & 2014). Stem Cell transplant November 2014. Work in a neonatal ICU.
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