Here is the email update sent out on December 6th:
Here is the most recent update on Allistaire. We went to Seattle Children’s Hospital this morning to get another CBC (Complete Blood Count) done and to meet with the Hematology/Oncology Specialist. Below you will see Allistaire’s most current numbers and a correction to the white blood cell count which I recorded incorrectly last time. Overall she is doing a bit better. This weekend she has been joyful, eating better and much closer to her old self, though certainly still sleeping a lot. Her hematocrit (red blood cell count) has remained essentially stable. Her platelets have gone up a little bit, though her total white blood cell count has gone down slightly. Most encouraging is that her neurtrophil count is up from 71 to 204; granted normal levels are over 1000 but we’ll rejoice over every gain! Also the doctor was encouraged to see that her Reticulocyte Production Index has raised from 0 when we first brought her in up to .3 (.5 being normal). This is a measure of the new red blood cells being produced in the marrow. Allistaire’s RPI shows that her marrow is doing at least a little on its own and isn’t totally suppressed. Overall, we are so thankful to see some upward progress! Our doctor consulted with the other specialist in today and they agreed that we should still go ahead and have the bone marrow test done because her counts are so low. Sten and I are thankful we’ll have more helpful information sooner than later. Our next blood draw, appointment, and bone marrow test will be scheduled for some time this Thursday. At this point they have pretty much ruled out Leukemia, they are also steering away from Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood (TEC) given that it primarily suppresses red blood cells rather than all the blood cells as in Allistaire’s case. They are narrowing in on Aplastic Anemia (Aplastic means empty – as in the marrow is empty or not producing blood cells). Aplastic Anemia is an overarching category of diseases which have quite varied causes and thus some variation in treatment. Some of the main categories of Aplastic Anemia are congenital which means that it is genetic and also is often accompanied by physical deformities, environmental as in the case of those who are exposed to chemotherapy or radiation, autoimmune or viral. In all these cases the bone marrows production of blood cells is suppressed. The bone marrow test will significantly help to make a more conclusive determination of what type of Aplastic Anemia Allistaire has. Of course we are hopeful that hers is due to a viral suppression which can rectify itself, but there is always the possibility that it will be a type that could require something as significant as a bone marrow transplant.
As I stayed up late last night pouring over one google search after another, trying to understand big words and the web of how one thing leads to another, I was at times overwhelmed with all that can go wrong and all the scary possibilities. It was about the time that I was reading through Wikipedia’s simple explanation of lymphocytes that I realized that within the very same overwhelming complexity which allows for untold numbers of things to go ary, in that same complexity is the screaming evidence of an absolutely brilliant able God. It is too amazing – it is simply too much that our body does all that it does even within the limited realm of blood. As I looked at the electron microscope picture of various blood cells sitting there so innocently as though they are merely little round balls, not the incredibly complex, sophisticated protectors and providers that they really are…in this place I felt peace, the rest that God has promised me. Whatever comes with Allistaire, He is able. He has not stopped being God, He has not stopped being all knowing, He has not stopped being all powerful, He has not stopped being the creator of all things, He has not stopped being good. I don’t know what the road ahead looks like, but I cling to Christ and I know He holds me to Himself with the very same power that the Father exerted when He raised His Son – overcoming sin and death. To quote my friends mom who was bed ridden nearly her entire life, “God wastes no pain.” So I look expectantly for what the Lord will do, knowing that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are good – a good that doesn’t not always fit with my finite understanding of good. I fix my eyes on Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith.
Normal 12/1 12/2 12/3 12/6
Hematocrit 30-40 9.6 17.8 25 24.4
Platelet Count 200 – 450 137 106 99 104
White Blood Cell 5 – 15 2.9 1.9 2.3 2.1
Neutrophil Over 1000 186 158 77 204
Reticulocyte Production Index .5 0 ? ? .3
I attached a few pics of Allistaire normal happy self. Much love to you all!
Here is a link to the Wikipedia site: