Monday, January 9, 2012

Blood Cells

I haven't posted in a few days as Andrew's been pretty sick from this round of chemo.  They told us that the B cycle is tough, but we thought they meant while you were getting it -- I guess they really mean "after"!  It was a much more imuno-suppresive round, so he's having some trouble getting his blood counts to rebound, which makes him feel generally terrible.  I gave him 6 daily injections of neupogen for the white blood cells, but the platelets and red blood cells were left to fend for themselves.  Apparently, this aggressive treatment just destroys the bone marrow (from whence all those important blood cells grow)!  He's had some bloody noses from low platelets but they seem to be abating now.  The red blood cells are another story ... he's still incredibly fatigued and can get very light headed if he's up for too long.  I'm going to give Dr. E. a call tomorrow to see if he needs some supplemental blood, though he seems to be rallying a bit.  It's supposed to be normal to feel awful as the blood counts bottom out around 7-14 days after treatment, so that's about where he is.  We're still new at this and aren't really sure what "normal" recovery is yet.   
I've been doing a lot of reading about this regimen in preparation for the possible stem cell transplant, and if it weren't so effective I'd be pretty scared. Many older patients aren't able to finish the course -- it's just too intense -- but it really has much better outcomes for patients if they can endure it.   Unfortunately the effects are cumulative as you continue, but Andrew is so strong and so determined -- he'll get through it. 


  1. Hi Linda, this is Dana - another of Jay's high school friends... have been following the blog and praying for you along the way - as we all are... Wanted to take a moment to wish Jay a Happy Birthday tomorrow - while it probably won't be one of his best, we are all counting on the fact that next year's will likely be the best one ever - and we look forward to that!! Please send him our love... hang in there...

  2. Another blast from the past. Please know your Old school Ilion friends are all thinking and praying for your recovery. May all our faith give you the extra strength to beat this!!!!!! Annie (Calicchia) Frank