I'm doing much better. Perhaps not quite out of the woods yet; but each day now is one step farther away from needing a stem cell transplant. My white blood cells and red blood cells are both pretty much normal. Platelets are low - only just over a third of what is considered normal, but still 20 times higher than when I was first admitted in July 2005. So I can't complain about that.

I see my primary hematologist/oncologist only every other month now. It was every two weeks after I had the PICC removed in December 2005. Then every three weeks. Then once a month. Now I'm getting a blood draw every month and seeing her every other. The secondary oncologist (who would be primary for transplant) only sees me every few months as well.

One thing that has not changed is my cyclosporine dose. That has remained constant for the last several months, with a dose of 350 mg/day (roughly 4.25 mg/kg). This gets me into a trough level range of 200-300, which is what Dr. Klix is shooting for. I forget a dose every now and then, but for the most part I make a small handful of pills part of my breakfast every morning and nightcap every night. I expect to keep this dose for several more months, at which point (when my numbers are considered high/stable enough) I will taper off of the drug. The hope is that the numbers will stay up after I stop the cyclosporine.

In my last visit to Dr. Klix I was cleared to visit a dentist. The visit before that I was cleared to begin swimming again, and to shave with a straight razor. I still can't have grapefruit, because of the possible interaction with my cyclosporine. And I haven't asked if I can begin using a multivitamin again. The bottle of One-A-Day Men's collecting dust in my cabinet notwithstanding, I can do most everything I would like to do.

Despite these recent months of improving health, I know I'm not even close to being cured. I still don't know exactly what caused my sickness in the first place, so I may never know if I'm going to relapse tomorrow - or if I'll never see it again. But I do know that I am doing better right now, and for that I am grateful.