I'm happy to report I got through the venetoclax ramp up to 400 mg without incident. I am now officially on the full regimen of meds. With the exception of the 5 remaining IV treatments, all I need to do is swallow 10 pills a day and drink a lot of water to flush the toxins out.
The only thing I have to be concerned about at this point is my neutrophils (good white blood cells), which are tanking a bit. They went from 2.4 to 1.5 in one week. Apparently this is not uncommon, but if they go below .5, they won't treat me and I'll need to go on neutropenic diet to avoid bacteria (e.g. no raw veggies, fruits or nuts, only well done meat, no moldy cheeses, runny eggs, sushi).
There is nothing I can do to boost this. I have ramped up my hand washing and avoidance of potentially sick people just because my immune system is compromised at this point, and I really need to try to afford getting sick.
I have connected with about 6 other patients on the same trial, and we really drove the nurses nuts this week with our socializing and group walks around the ward (think four of us pushing our IV poles). Apparently, they aren't keen about our knowing each other, because they fear it might bias what we say about how we feel, but they know with social media, it's impossible to keep us from communicating. Frankly, our socializing won't affect what they see in lab results or physical exams, and everyone is doing fine so far, so there isn't too much bias to introduce.
Next week, I fly out for Cycle 4, week 1 (3 down, 11 to go!). After next week, I'm down to monthly visits. All I can say is thank God the heavy lifting happened during the summer. Though it sort of wrecked any opportunity for vacation or fun, I don't think I would have managed juggling the school year on top of it.
As always, thanks for your support, and let me know if you have any questions.