So on Tuesday, I went to the California Cryobank of New York City and stored some sperm. It is a wondrous tale! I arrived there about 30 minutes early, with my dad (as I cannot drive, he had to drive). He helped me fill out the forms (due to my dysgraphia), but I filled out the more awkward stuff. They asked quite a few questions about me and my medical history — and I am in the process of applying for the Livestrong Fertility Program – which gives me a discount on this stuff because of my diagnosis. So, they had me provide a urine sample and then engage in sexual relations with a cup. So, what is a sperm donation (or preservation) room actually like? Well, it is certainly different from the movies. This place, you could tell, was under construction (which it was, they were in the process of expanding) – the walls of the donation room were scuffed up – and the… magazines looked waterlogged, with what, I do not know. I refrained from touching them. After that, they examined it check viability and then they took me in to take blood. The poor phelbotomist was incredibly scared of my tiny veins. He barely tried to draw my blood – he just stuck the needle in and pulled it out a few seconds later and said “Yeah, these are the smallest veins I have ever seen. I do not want to risk popping them, so take this form to your oncologist tomorrow and have him run these tests and fax it to us.” I was rather tired after that… awkward experience, even only having to walk 0.2 miles to where we parked the car.
So, today I saw my local oncologist. The phlebotomists there were very confused by the paperwork the bank gave us – as LabCorp does not use traditional medical codes, so they had to break out their code books and convert the LabCorp codes to the traditional codes. They still didn’t know what one of the tests was, so they sent me on my way to get weighed. I’m at 107 lbs now (I was 110.2 when I saw the NY oncologist last) – and my blood pressure is normal for me. Then I went into the exam room to await my local oncologist. When he walked in, he was accompanied by someone, and my first thought was “Well, I guess he wants to show off his fun medical enigma. :P” Turns out it was his daughter, who is studying to become a nurse, and she is spending the summer at the office, learning about oncology.
So, my WBC count is down (it’s around 14, was at 17 on April 30th – Hemoglobin is around the same. He said that my treatment regimen (Prednisone & Methotrexate) is one developed and tested by Thomas Loughran in a trial he conducted a few years back and that he thinks it should work well on what I have. He said that the methotrexate will take a bit to work and that the prednisone should start soon – the methotrexate will be what will do most of the heavy lifting and the prednisone will kill the lymphocytes. Then after that, the doctor said the phlebotomists kept sending messages to him on the office IM that they needed more tubes of blood – they figured out what the other test was. Luckily, the phlebotomists there are very good, and they did it pretty quickly. I start chemotherapy tomorrow and then on June 10th, I see my local oncologist again. I’ll be seeing him every two weeks, and my NYC oncologist once a month.