It looks like I’m on the road to recovery once again.  My platelets have climbed to 81k.  Dr. C has given me the okay to drive to travel to our home in Naples, Florida.  I am still on steroids so my immune system continues to be suppressed.  With flu season in full bloom, I am staying away from crowds and restaurants where so many workers are showing up for work despite flu symptoms.  I should buy stock in Purell because I use mass quantities of hand sanitizer.

The plan is to continue to reduce my dose of prednisone.  As my immune system regains strength, we’ll see what happens to my platelet count.  If the count continues to rise, I may be able to reduce or eliminate the eltrombopag.  If my count starts to decrease or remains low, I will likely continue on eltrombopag for some time to come.

I also use my Vogmask when at MD Anderson or in public places.  It’s interesting that adults will glance at my mask and look quickly away.  Children are different.  They openly stare at my mask and don’t look away when I look at them.  You can tell they are trying to figure out why this grown man is wearing a mask.  One five-year-old boy broke away from his mom yesterday, ran towards me, pointed at my mask and yelled at the top of his lungs, “You’re a bad man.”  He put real emphasis on the word “bad”.  His mom ran over and apologized.  She said her son has been playing cops and robbers with his friends and he just assumes everyone with a mask must be a robber.

Mary Pat and I were happy to run into an AML leukemia survivor today who follows this blog.  She and her husband are from Pennsylvania.  She is on the same long journey I have been on.  She was diagnosed with AML and traveled to Houston to be treated by Dr. K, the same leukemia doctor who treated me.  Like me, she underwent chemotherapy, suffered a relapse, had consolidation chemotherapy, and then a stem cell transplant from donor cells donated by a sibling.  She has also received post-transplant injections of Azacitidine like I did.  I’m very glad to report she is healthy and the good news is she will not likely develop ITP like I did.  ITP is a pretty rare autoimmune complication from a stem cell transplant so the odds are in her favor.  I hope she has many years of good health.  As Dr. K says “Inshallah” (God willing).

Onward and upwards folks.  Live every day like it’s your last and keep your friends and loved ones close!