My First Blood Draw after Four Days on Dasatinib (Sprycel)

So, I was a good girl and listened to my doctor and have been taking 140 mg of Sprycel for four days, “In Protest”. Today will be my second blood draw since leaving the hospital. The first blood draw was one week ago and my white blood cells were 45,300; normal range is between 4,000 and 10,000. Considering that they were 382,000 only two weeks ago, I have made a remarkable dent in them!

Now, if you are anything like me and you know that you are running a race and what your goal is; you are anxious to see your results. I knew where my blood count stood one week ago, and I want to know how my body is responding to my new medication and I want to know NOW! I find it terribly frustrating that you cannot receive your test results until the “powers of be”, allow you to do so. I called my doctor’s office and was told that the results were in, but I had to wait for the doctor or nurse to call me back; THEN they could fax the results to me. Of course, this did not happen right away. I actually had to wait until morning and call them back again. This time, I told the receptionist that I would wait on hold until someone could speak to me. Amazingly that happened quickly; the nurse practitioner got right on the phone, apologized and gave me my results. Funny how YOUR test results and medical records are “Top Secret”, viewed only by eyes other than your own!

My white cell count had dropped to 8,600; way below the previous week of 45,300. It was in the normal range; however, my platelets had also dropped to 83 and were below normal. (This explained the easy bruising.) My red cells were hanging in there just right at the bottom of the “normal” scale at 3.34. My doctor viewed this as a good sign; I was a bit concerned because of how quickly they had dropped from 45,300 to 8,600. I still felt that 140 mg of Sprycel was just too high of a dose for me. I have four more days before I meet my new doctor. I am anxious to see what she has to say.


  1. Michele,

    I am a newly diagnosed CML patient and started on Gleevec 400mg three weeks ago. I read through your blog to-date and you've been through quite an ordeal thus far! You are so strong and brave though...I am inspired by your blogging through that initial hospital stay. It is terrific to see that the Sprycel is controlling your white counts right out of the gate, and I will be thinking of you as you continue your journey and get your CML under control ... just like I'm trying to do too. We'll get through this!

    Keep it up - you're doing great!

  2. Thanks Dan!
    I am so glad you stopped by. Were you able to skip a hospital stay and chemo? What was you WBC when you were diagnosed? How is the gleevec working for you?
    And yes, we WILL get through this.
    Hopefully I have helped you in some way, even if it is only misery loves company! lol

  3. I had to make the infamous ER visit after getting the "call", but my WBC was 155,000 and they let me leave with a prescription of Hydroxurea, which is a low-grade oral chemo. Fortunately, the chemo worked quickly and I moved over to Gleevec within a couple of weeks. I'm doing the weekly blood counts just like you and so far everything is going reasonably well. We are fortunate to be living in the age of targeted therapy, so whether it's Sprycel, Gleevec, or Tasigna -- I feel very confident about our chances of moving forward with a normal & active life. I will keep an eye on you and watch for your next dancing competition. :)

  4. Did they find you elevated WBC with a routine blood draw? or were you having symptoms?
    When I got my call, my doc was like get your bumm to the ER QUICK! They thought that I would be there for 2 weeks. My WBC was 380,000 and I guess they were fearful that I might have a brain bleed.

  5. Dan, I'm a cmler as well. Will be on tasigna. Glad gleevec is taking your counts in the right direction. I love that cmlers encourage each other... it seems we all have a bond through this rare disease even though we're scattered throughout the world :). Take care you two! Kayla

  6. Hi Kayla,
    I'm thinking we should start a club!! It seems as thought this "rare" cancer is becoming less so. I also keep thinking that since the odds are of getting this cancer were so slim maybe we should all start playing the lottery!


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