Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weird Wednesday

Tom's been stable since Monday, his counts have gone from WBC 0.5 Monday, 1.9 Yesterday, and above 4.0 today... which means out of neutropenia. Tom is ready to fly this coop.  However, he has just been informed that the blood cultures have grown enough for them to figure out what he has and it is unfortunately resistant to the antibiotics they've been treating him with. So while he may be feeling better, he may not be allowed to leave until they can secure him on the correct antibiotics to make sure that it doesn't come back.

As it turns out, he has a gram-negative infection called VRE (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci) ... vancomycin being one of the antibiotics he's been getting treated with. here is a link to some information on the bacteria. 

After doing some reading, it appears that this definitely explains much of what was happening and what he was feeling.  That said, his counts have all been on the rise to normality, he's out of neutropenia and for the most part, he's been feeling pretty good. Sounds like it's something that can be picked up (most commonly in hospitals or chronic care facilities, or some people have it in their systems without infection).  The doctor says that just about anything can happen with chemo and a person's counts getting so low.

The only thing he has seemed to be struggling with is sleep.  He's been a bit worried about what results from the tests they've ran might yield.  Monday was the bone marrow biopsy, yesterday he did a cardiac test (because when he was running extremely low on blood and platelets and running a fever, he had some rather irregular blood pressure and heart rate readings), and first thing this morning he had a PET scan to check in on the progression of his treatment.  So, when Tom says he didn't sleep last night, he quite literally means it.  At 3am we were up walking laps in the ward because he couldn't fall asleep, even despite how incredibly tired he was.

Dr. Reddy came by and said that the preliminary results on the PET scan show everything clear.  Said it looks like he may have some risdidual business in the lungs from this infection he's fighting, but that's all. So that was a lovely weight off of the shoulders.  Said Tom will be able to go home by Friday hopefully after treating this VRE and that we should have the marrow biopsy results by then. So things are looking good. Also said that Tom will most likely have another week or two off to finish the antibiotics for this infection before he starts cycle 5.  

In other news, Helen arrives today :)  Alex will be picking her up this afternoon from SFO so we hope to see them probably around 5pm.

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