Andrew was diagnosed with Erythroid (M6) Acute Myeloid Leukemia on November 4th, 2010 when he was almost 5 months old. Andrew is currently in remission from his cancer, after finishing his 5 rounds of chemotherapy. He is a healthy, happy toddler.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Doing much better!

Andrew has been perking up quite a bit lately! He's back to his usual refusal to take a nap. At first I thought it was the chemo that has been knocking him out these last few days, but since they've taken him off the oxycontin (a narcotic pain-killer), he's been much more alert and breathing better (he's had blow-by oxygen since his surgeries on Friday). Even being on Benadryl doesn't seem to be putting him out. I guess he's just a determined guy.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lizzie this is Brigetta Ive been following your blog and we are so thankful for your friendship. Please let us know if there is anything at all that you need or would help you get through this I know that when we were with Charlie in the hospital I really needed stuff to help pass the time like a good book or knitting or something to keep me busy, let me know if you need anything like that. I am so close to the Hospital all day and I have changed my hours at work so I have more time if you ever just need company. Love ya