Day #15

Today John completed his third dose of Gazyva uneventfully.

For those of you checking on him, he's doing well. He is still tired and feels kind of "bleh" after each infusion. But he's had no further reactions and he is responding well.

I haven't been taking daily photos because his neck hasn't been visibly changing on a daily basis. But here's a picture I just took after his third infused dose of Gazyva (Obinutuzumab).

He looks a little less swollen than he did this morning. And he's not getting a high dose of steroid. The improvement is from treatment.

Next Monday John will begin the next phase of this trial. They will introduce his first dose of Venetoclax (ABT-199). He will be monitored in the hospital for two nights a week over five weeks. He'll have a PICC line in his arm for this period of time to facilitate the frequent blood draws.

We met another patient today who just finished the five weeks of graduating to a full therapeutic dose of 400 mg. She was having her PICC line removed today and would not have to return for her next visit for a month. John hasn't gotten his yet, but I'm already looking forward to the day he gets to have his removed and go a full month without an office visit and blood draw. But, at the same time, I'm so thankful he has the opportunity to participate in this clinical trial.

Please don't stop remembering us in your prayers. But I'm happy to report that John is steadily improving and should continue to do so.

For my fellow CLLers, here are John's counts TODAY:

WBC:  4.0
RBC:   3.91
HGB:  12.8
HCT:   37.3
Platelets:  103
ALC:  0.71
Neutrophils:  3.15

On Day #1 before treatment began:

WBC: 18.2
RBC:  4.0
HGB:  13.4
HCT:  39.7
Platelets:  136
ALC:  13.1
Neutrophils:  4.3

John's platelets dropped to 43 the week after he stopped Idelalisib. They rebounded to 172 after two weeks, then started dropping again. They were 136 the first day of treatment, dropped to 68 after his first dose, rebounding to 87 last week and 103 today. This is typical of most patients in the trial. The exciting thing is the reduction of his ALC while neutrophils have stayed normal.

John's WBC rose to 21 at its highest after stopping Idelalisib. Anyone familiar with CLL knows that alone would not even necessitate treatment. But John's CLL has always preferred his lymph nodes over his blood. All you have to do is scroll down to his before and after (first infusion) photos to see why he cannot be without treatment for long.

I will post another update next week after he has received his first dose of Venetoclax. Hopefully, I will again use the word uneventful. I love that word.