Monday, November 12, 2012



Neutropenia is an abnormally low level of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils are white blood cells (WBCs) produced in the bone marrow that ingest bacteria. Neutropenia is sometimes called agranulocytosis or granulocytopenia because neutrophils make up about 60% of WBCs and have granules inside their cell walls. Neutropenia is a serious disorder because it makes the body vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections.

Medical Dictionary has more on this subject if you feel curious and want to know more.

Today, Tom's levels officially hit the realm of "neutropenia" which they consider a person if the WBC is less than 2.0.  Tom registered in at 0.7 and had a slight moment of celebration.  The sooner his counts go down, the sooner they go up (in theory anyway).  In discussion of this, Dr. Carroll asked Tom what English foods he missed most and then proceeded to tell him about an English pasty shop in town, of which Tom cannot eat from until out of the neutropenic zone.  Doctor says it'll probably be two weeks before Tom can come home, Thanksgiving is 10 days away and while the doctor doesn't think Tom's counts will rebound so quickly... Tom is certainly convinced he can.  

His appetite is doing well, minus the fact that anything with an aroma (so anything hot) must remain outside of the room.  We've been able to come up with a few foods to leave in the family room kitchen that are good on demand.  

Today my mom is coming down to stay two nights and three days so that we can have a break of running back and forth for Izzy.  Looking forward to that.  Today Izzy and I had a rather long walk in a nature preserve area, where she decided November aside... it was still a good day for a swim.  

For those who may want to give Tom a call or something to ease his boredom, the bone marrow transplant unit phone number is: 916-733-8945 and he's in room 4320

I think that may be all to really report for today.  Hope everyone is well. 


  1. Lucy and I are both neutropenic, and I definitely feel your pain when it comes to having a loved one living with it! Glad to read recently that his numbers are going up. : )

    1. You're BOTH neutropenic?! Yikes! The neutropenia itself isn't really the hard part, we have that dialed, but the subsequent sepsis fevers that tend to sometimes come with it are scary! I hope you both haven't had to deal with that!

  2. No fevers, but strict orders to get to the ER if we have them. The hardest part was the two months of isolation except for trips to the store.

    1. I'm sure that's the worst, especially when everyone wants to see the new baby! Tom isn't allowed out of the house when neutropenic except to go to the infusion center and then he has to wear a mask which makes him look rather scary with lack of hair and eyebrows lol. I couldn't imagine being in your position though, new baby and both of you being susceptible. Everytime someone coughs or sneezes without covering their mouth I want to freak out!