Honeymoon's Over

April 27th, 2005 - 9:21pm by Mom

Well, the honeymoon period was good but very brief. It ended abruptly yesterday evening. But hey, we had one good day! At this point we'll take what we can get.

Kevin's lab results from Tuesday were low, despite being on the GCSF. His hemoglobin was only 8 (should remain >11), platelets were 56 (should remain >l50, 000), WBC's were 800 (should remain >4000). ANC was 144 (should remain >1,000), Kevin has been having frequent nosebleeds again, a bad one on Sunday. He also has constant nasal drainage (from the chemo), and nearly constant headaches which were getting worse. Evidently the headaches are a direct result of the low hemoglobin. From what the oncologist said, the GCSF is mainly to elevate the WBC. It really doesn't affect the platelets and hemoglobin very much. Right now, it isn't even keeping the WBC very high despite taking the injection nearly every day.

What is happening is that Kevin's body is getting so depleted from the chemo that his cells aren't responding as well to the GCSF and not recuperating when he is between chemo rounds. Evidently this happens occasionally with the older teens with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The chemo for Hodgkin's is short, but so heavy, and their bodies are responding as an adult's would. I was told that the younger kids do much better with the chemo and usually don't have the problems Kevin is having.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, Kevin was lying on the couch with a headache. His face is yellow and pale, and he had no energy to do anything. He was in school yesterday, but was totally worn out by the time he got home. He called me at work today at 9am because his headache was worse, and he didn't think he would be able to tolerate school today. So he went back to bed, and I called his nurse at Mpls Children's. He will now need a transfusion. His cell counts aren't in the danger zone yet, but with the symptoms he is having, they felt the transfusion would make him feel a lot better--and should definitely get rid of the headaches. So Dick took him to the oncology short stay unit at CentraCare today to get the type casting done. I will take him back tomorrow at 9 am for the transfusion which will take 6 hrs.

I was concerned about the safety of the blood from a blood bank and wanted to donate mine for Kevin. But for a direct donation there is a 72/hr delay while the donated blood is being screened and processed, and they didn't want Kevin to wait that long. I was told that MN is the 2nd highest state in the nation for safe blood (Wisconsin being the 1st). The screening process is quite extensive now, so we'll just have to trust that the blood Kevin will be receiving tomorrow won't have any contaminants in it.

At least Mpls Children's was able to coordinate with CentraCare to have the transfusion here instead of going all the way to the cities tomorrow. At this point, we'll take whatever small favors happen to come our way!

Please keep Kevin in your prayers.

April 28, 2005 - 11:12am
Slye Fox says:

That sucks the big one, K. But maybe you'll get a transfusion from some kool genetically altered blood and gain superpowers like Spider Man or something. You know - like in the movies where the donor got too close to the nuclear reactor before visiting the blood bank or got bitten by a crazy spider while on a recent trip to Madagascar. So when I come up this weekend, I'll be looking to see if you grew a third eyeball, gills or suddenly have the ability to stick to the ceiling. (May have to throw you up there in order to test this theory.)

But seriously - hope the process goes smoothly and painlessly. You're nearly done with all this crap and soon can rejoin the land of the living.