February 25, 2013
After a morning's worth of silence from doctors and nurses, we finally got to hear from the doc on call, who was great, that she talked with our oncologist in Denver and under no circumstances is she to be released until her neutrophyls are above 1. They were measured at .44 this morning, and 11 yesterday. We are less than halfway there, but went up hugely from yesterday to today. Our oncologist said encouragingly however that once the improvement starts to happen with white blood cell counts and neutrophyls and such it improves exponentially, so that's good.
I have to reimburse you for your $150 after the biology lesson yesterday because it turns out I was wrong. I told you that her neutrophyl count on Saturday morning was at 7 and yesterday morning was at 11...I was wrong it was not 7 and 11 absolute neutrophyl count as in actual neutrophyls, it was 7 and 11 percent. Its so interesting to have 5-6 different health professionals throw different numbers and acronyms and names of stuff at you...one tends to get a bit confused. Of the white blood cells that any one person has in their body, a portion of those cells are neutrophyls. Neutrophyls are the actual fighter cells, they are the ones that kick the ass of any virus/bacteria etc and a normal range for those is 50-60%. Now, that having been said, we've been told that her count needs to be above 1 before she can go home, and I actually interpret that to mean that the actual count is above 1000, not that she has to have 100% neutrophyl count. That's what I mean about 5-6 different health professionals throwing information at you...they all use their own language. Our oncologist is looking at a neutrophyl count of over 1000, which means that her percentage would have to be 50% based on her total white blood cell count as of this morning, which was 2100. Make sense? Clear as mud?
So...all this means that we are staying another night, which frustrated the girl quite a bit. She reeeeeeally wants to be at home right now and in her own bed, having taken a shower in her own shower and eaten out of her own fridge. It sucks royally, but its better this way because if we went home to early and she got reinfected, it would be far worse than what she and we have experienced already. So...we stay. Our nurses and the staff have been really great, we've gotten several flower deliveries and treats, I even got a canadian bacon/pineapple/jalapeno pizza delivered a few hours ago! We're spoiled, thanks for taking care of us :)
Please pray for her counts, that her body continues to rebound as it has been, pray for her heart because she just wants so badly to be better and be home. Its been rough on her. I'm doing ok, the bed I'm sleeping on is something akin to what I imagine it would be like to sleep on bubble wrap covered in cellophane - its less than exciting. I scare myself awake every time I roll over.
I'll give a giant hug and a big, wet kiss to the first person to hit up a S-bux and bring me a Venti Pike Place, black, no room tomorrow morning. I think I could lubricate the engine of my truck with the stuff they serve here. I've got another hug for the second person to do so.
We're good. I actually mean that. Her body is on the way up, there is a good chance we will be able to stop antibiotics tonight, she's had a 98 degree temp for almost 24 hours now which is one of their criteria for discharging a neutropenic patient. (Neutropenic = fever/infection due to extremely low white blood cell/neutrophyl levels) We aren't 100%, but man it is so much better than it was on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I refuse to blow smoke here, we've been finding out today that the place she was at was potentially pretty life-threatening in terms of the things that could have happened had we not gotten her into the ER when we did and started to get this stuff under control. Her counts were low enough that she very literally had virtually no ability to fight anything off herself. She herself was not actually in any danger because she was in the hospital and receiving care in time, but had we not...it could have been much uglier.
We are blessed. In no sense do I intend to cheapen that statement with fluff or nonsense - I mean it, we are blessed. We are blessed, it could have been much worse and we have been well loved and taken care of. It's been an awful weekend, and we need to be much more careful for the next 3 rounds of chemo. But we know now what to do, how to take precautions, how to keep her safe and what to do if something happens again. So, we just wont let any of this crap happen again. Simple enough!
Would someone please do me a favor? Go outside, make a huge juicy snowball and throw it as hard as you can at the nearest innocent bystander? Not because I have pent up anger and need to take it out on someone or anything, just because there's 6 inches of snow on the ground and I've been stuck in a damn hospital room for 3 days. It would just be a shame to waste all that snow, ya know? I just need a little vicarious living.
Thanks folks, have a great evening! I'll letcha know what the plan is tomorrow!