Who knew?! So many great things! Allistaire slept all the way through the last night without painful crying. I woke her up at 8:30 to head to the hospital and she did have a diarrhea diaper but the bottom’s still looking good. We got to the hospital in time for labs and then hit up Starbucks while we waited for her clinic appointment rather than going for a dressing change as scheduled. Apparently there was some sort of disease contamination that required special cleaning before we could enter. We headed back to clinic and had about a 20 minute wait. This is one of the best parts of clinic – you get to see all the old beloved faces. We had the joy of seeing little Annabelle and her mom and dad that we haven’t seen in two months. She is much improved by all appearances and they await scans in a month that will tell them how effective the chemo has been. I almost didn’t recognize little man Mason because of his slimmed down appearance which shows off his handsome face. It was great to see he and his mom, Stefanie, for a few minutes. Then we saw Shannon with her very little guy, Jaxson. On our way in to get vitals and weight we ran into Sam’s mom, Heidi, who we miss so much. It is a strange and wonderful thing to be bound in this way to others who have or are fighting a similar fight with a similar foe. The taunting thing is that we are in isolation because of Allistaire’s cold which means we have to keep a sizable distance and there just isn’t nearly enough time to chat. Nevertheless, it is so delightful to see faces that we love and mean so much to us!
Our nurse practitioner, Tracy, examined Allistaire and says it looks like she’s improving but we are not totally out of the woods yet. She affirmed the concern of the ER HemOnc fellow who was considering admitting her. While I really don’t understand it myself, obviously from severe lack of knowledge and experience, the chemo regime for AML is just so incredibly harsh that it suppresses the immune system far more than most other chemos. Also she said that when AML patients do get sick, they can often get severely sick extremely fast. The threshold for readmittance is extremely low. Apparently, only up until the last few years, AML patients had to stay in the hospital the entire time. I cannot tell you how thankful that we have had the opportunity to be at home these past 2 weeks! We are elated that her ANC popped up to a whoppin’ 13 today! Her hematocrit is up to 30.7 and her platelets nearly doubled going from 45 to 81. It looks like we’re on the upward swing which is totally amazing to me! We are actually scheduled to have Allistaire’s next bone marrow test next Tuesday and to readmit for round 4 on Friday, March 30th. Of course this is all contingent on Allistaire’s counts as she has to have an ANC of 750 to start her next round. It is just surprising to me because I had in mind that she would start round 4 sometime between April 7 – 14th. This would put us a week or maybe even 2 ahead of what I had been thinking. While I’m not super excited to be back in the hospital for a long time, I’m ready to get this thing done!
Thank you for all of your prayers for so many things. Please keep praying for the diarrhea to disappear all together and for her little bunzers to stay healthy and for no fevers. Today she ate a tiny bit better – she ate 2 1/2 pieces of cheese along with a bit of cereal and probably about 4 sippy cups of milk. I’m really praying and hoping her appetite will increase because she lost almost one kilogram since her appointment last Thursday. The nurse-practitioner said we’ll give her a chance to regain some of that lost weight but that we will need to keep a close eye on her and problem solve if she keeps going down. What did encourage me was the fact that she did not fight me to get into her chair to eat and while she did to eat much, she was in a very chipper mood. Before and after dinner, she and Solveig had lots of fun together and she seems to have some energy returning.
Last but not least – sorry Nick for the alarming blog post title yesterday. Like I said, I’m prone to hyperbole 🙂