Regarding my low white blood cell count, I spoke with Dr. Kewalramani on Friday. He told me to be sure to set up an appointment with Dr. Zelenetz, my lymphoma guru (Dr. K was the transplant physician so the baton gets passed back to Dr. Zelenetz). Dr. K is not too worried about the blood count, especially since some of the key components of the WBC are within normal limits. But it is time for me to see Zelenetz.
I called his office Friday, but his nurse did not get back to me. Will call again Monday afternoon and try to make a date in the next two weeks. My last dose of Rituxin is supposed to start at the end of July - one three hour session, once a week for four weeks.
I decided to do my little fitness test on Saturday. It's actually not a full fitness test, just a strength test. When I gave up using free weights, about four years ago, and just used the machines, I was worried that this would result in an undetected slide in the strength component of my fitness. So every three weeks or so I'd do a little bench press test - five sets of five repetitions, with about a minute between each set. I would put my feet up flat on the bench (knees bent), so I couldn't "cheat" by using my legs and arching my back to lift the weight.
The amount of weight was always the bar plus two big discs - a total of 135 lbs. Some people may think this is a lot of weight, while others (like the guys I played rugby with) will be rolling around on the floor laughing and saying "I always knew he was a wimp."
Anyway that was the plan. As soon as I started the lifts Saturday I knew there was no way I could do five sets of five reps. So I scaled back to five sets of three reps and completed them all with reasonable form.
As far as my cardiovascular system is concerned, I don't really have a test. But I know my cardio is well off from what it was. I get easily puffed just playing with Tim - if I run 40 yrds I am sucking air. And while I have the ellyptical machine and stationary bike settings when I use them at their old levels, I can tell from the caloric readout that I'm not doing as well as I used to do.
So - I am not back to where I was before my lymphoma erupted. But I am going to keep at it. I will incorporate some bench presses into my weight training, instead of just using the chest press machine. And I'll try doing some interval training on the ellyptical machine - and maybe even some intervals running on the treadmill (unless it starts bothering my knees.) And there's always the rowing machine, which gives you a fantastic workout. I stopped using it about two years ago because I thought it was bothering my back, but maybe I can get away with a couple of short sessions each week.
It was just about a year ago that I started showing symptoms of the nephrotic syndrome which Dr. Zelenetz ultimately said was "a classic manifestation of mantle cell." This time a year ago, I was starting to show edema in my legs ... and didn't realize I had a problem for several more days ...