Thursday, February 3, 2011

CAL-101... A week later

I had my second infusion of rituximab yesterday at Stanford. I'm happy to report that the infusion went well; no vomiting and no chills, as happened a week ago. My GERD is back; I assume this is due to the vomiting and/or the rituximab infusion.

My blood numbers were interesting. Since my disastrous bout with FCR, my counts have been very low, with the WBC ranging from 2100 to 2700 or so. This time, my white count is over 44,000. This fits with what I've learned about CAL-101, and also fits with my sudden and unexpected shrinking of my lymph nodes. The thinking is that this kinase somehow pushes CLL cells out of the lymph nodes and into the circulatory system, where it can be detected by a simple blood draw.

The rest of the numbers are about what I've been living with for the past few years. My hemoglobin count is a bit lower, from the high 12s to the high 11s. My platelets, though, are much higher. They've been hanging around the 90 neighborhood; now they are over 140, and in the normal range. This is the first time that's happened in years and years. In fact, I can't remember when it was in the normal range.

My absolute lymphocyte count is high, as one can imagine. My absolute neutrophil count is also up substantially, which is very nice. Dr. Kipps has been puzzled by the low neutrophil counts over the past two years, which have nevertheless not led to a single serious infection. He thought that maybe the neutrophils were 'hiding out' in the tissues somewhere. It appears that he was right.

I am taking 150 mg of CAL-101 twice a day since Wednesday of last week. It's not a difficult thing to remember, and I'm home in the morning and evening. I'm back on acyclovir and Septra, the first to forestall herpes infections, and the second to help prevent bacterial infection, primarily in the lungs.

I'm carrying on my normal activities, which include having a sewer and water line replaced at my rental house, and doing some painting and other minor repairs. I'm trying to stay away from sick people, crowds, and soil fungus.

So far, so good.


Brian Koffman said...

This all sounds good. Thanks for the updates

Anonymous said...

Keep us posted on your progress with the Cal 101. Hope it continues to offer good news.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to a detailed update on CAL-101. Many of are anxiously seeking personal experiences with this new drug. Hope you are doing well.

Barry B. said...

Well, I had a great time while I was on the drug. I could go along throughout the day without thinking about CLL five or six times.

Now, I'm off the drug, and not doing well. It's probably a good drug, but it's not going to the the final word on PIK3 inhibitors, since it's first in class.

Nice while it lasted.