featured image: a Macrophage (red) engulfing tuberculosis bacteria (yellow), taken with ZEISS FE-SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope. ) Courtesy of Dr. Volker Brinkmann, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology – Berlin, Germany. http://www.zeiss.com/sem
I had my blood tested, and nutritionally I’m doing fairly well, but my immune system is still very weak.
My most important immune cells were decimated by the chemotherapy, and are still not back to strength. In the graphic above, the levels on 8/20 (before any treatment) were fairly normal, but by the morning before my second chemotherapy infusion, they were alarmingly low – especially the hunter-killer lymphocytes which target enemies and generate antibodies to kill them, and also to point them out to the monocytes, which kill and eat the bad guys. When stimulated by antigens from alarmed lymphocytes, monocytes grow to become large and highly mobile macrophages which engulf and destroy invading organisms and irritants.
The chemotherapy on 10/7 even further diminished my immune system, and by 10/14, the day of the feeding-tube scare, it was at a dangerously low point. A very slight improvement can be seen on 10/21, and a smidgen more by 12/23, but I have a long way to go.
Nutritionally, things are a bit better:
Hopefully by March 21st, these statistics will have changed significantly.