So Andrew's not so much of a Michelin Man lately as he's been getting rid of a lot of fluids in the last couple of hours. He was 20 1/2 pounds this morning--so saturated with water that the tech couldn't take his blood pressure! I'm understanding the basis for the over-hydration a lot better now. The attending today told me that for kids with solid tumor cancers (not Andrew), they try to make the intake at least 2 or 3 times the output to protect against tumor lysis syndrome. It seems like Andrew's tumor lysed quite a bit on Saturday night as he was spiking fevers every few hours and having more uric acid and potassium in his blood. His labs are just awesome now--good electrolytes, good urine pH, and there aren't any blasts (cancer cells) in his peripheral blood. The true test of how well the chemotherapy has worked will be shown in his next bone marrow biospy.
Andrew has also finally started to eat again, which is so exciting for us. He's smiled and giggled, which has just been incredible. We just feel so lucky that he's doing so well at this point, although I know there are harder times ahead. I think the wait for the karyotyping, which will weigh heavily on his prognosis, is nerve-racking. Since there is such a strong correlation between chromosome translocations and outcomes for this type of cancer, they will know really well which route to take in about 2 weeks from now. They told us even if he responds really well to chemotherapy, if his genes are bad, he'll have to get a bone marrow transplant. We'll just have to see.
For now, we're just learning the ropes and still praying like crazy for Andrew's health and happiness. Since Andrew hasn't been nursing much at all, I've joined a sort of informal pumping club in front of the NICU (newborn intensive care unit). It's amazing to hear about all these preemies and their parents' experiences. They basically all say the same thing--that babies are resilient. It's the same thing I've heard from doctors and nurses in this unit as well.
It really hit me today something the nurse said when they were giving Andrew his eye drops and this nasty cream for his right eye. She said that she's so glad she works with babies and kids because they forgive you for what you do to them. It's so true that forgiveness comes so easily from children. Inspiring, really.
Anyway, so much more to say, but I'd best be off to bed.