Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Blood Count Victory
Went to see the Oncologist for Tom's general 4 week check up. Tom's having what seem to be headaches due to his intrathecal chemo (the lumbar punctures). Because they are still unsure whether this weekends hospital stay was due to a "chemical meningitis" (ie. caused by the chemo), they cancelled his last intrathecal chemo for this week and have moved it to the next cycle. Tom was hoping his platelets might still be high enough today for them to get it done and over with so that they don't do a blood patch to alleviate the headaches and then re-puncture it in two weeks time.
Needless to say, his blood counts came back showing an ANC (absolute neutrophil count) of 0.0 and a WBC (white blood cell count) of 0.2 ... therefore he is most definitely neutropenic which means he is housebound, no sick people allowed, and needs to be extra cautious food wise. That said, we probably won't be having any visitors for a couple of days, just to be careful.
As far as the intrathecal goes, they won't do the procedure with less than 50,000 platelets (due to risk of bleeding) and Tom was at 23,000. Which is totally okay (they don't worry unless it's just a tad bit lower), he just has to be weary of not doing anything that could cause bleeding.
Lastly, his hemoglobin (red blood cells) levels require a blood transfusion which he will receive tomorrow afternoon.
Before anyone gets too worried, this is all 100% expected and good! We want the chemo to bring him down this low and hopefully (cross the fingers and toes) it means that the remaining 10% of leukemia cells in the bone marrow will be killed off. He was given a neulasta shot on Saturday which will help his body to reproduce and bounce the counts back up much faster than on their own.
So, we were happy to hear his counts hit the bottom. :) We are also celebrating Tom being half way done with his chemo as of this week!!!! Hooray!!! So here's hoping that these last two rounds really did the trick and send him into full remission.
Until Next Time!