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.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waiting for counts to go up

So Andrew got another RBC transfusion yesterday because his crit got down to 19 yesterday (the normal hematocrit range is from 29 to 41). This makes for a grand total of 2 RBC and 2 platelet transfusions. I'm keeping tally so I can go make it up to the Red Cross. Andrew was pretty sluggish yesterday (as sluggish as Andrew gets), but about 20 minutes after his transfusion--bam! Giggly squirmy Andrew was back, but only temporarily.

Andrew has had a couple of terrible nights lately. You wouldn't know it, since he's such a good kid during the day. It's been the same thing every night--the night nurses offer to hold him for me in the middle of the night, then about 20 minutes after his midnight vitals, they run out of ideas and hand him off to me. At one point, he would only quiet down when he was in the crook of my arm for a 3-hour stretch. I'm running out of ideas, too. The nurses keep asking me, is he in pain? I don't think so--why would he only be in pain at night? One of the fifty or so handouts they give you called "Assessing your Child's Pain" partially defines pain for infants as inconsolability. He is totally consolable when I nurse him so... I really have no idea. They offered to give him a narcotic for pain, but we settled on an anti-emetic that has a sedative effect. Geesh.

At this point, we're staying in the hospital because Andrew's immune system is so compromised. He's really only getting Ondansetron and Benadryl for nausea. I'm hoping to help as much as possible by giving him the lactoferrin, lysozyme, CCL28, and all those good IgA dimers that are in milk. It's gotta help at least somewhat in preventing infection. Hearing about cancer patients who have died from opportunistic infections has made us paranoid, so until his ANC (absolute neutrophil count) is up, we're saying no visitors in the room at this point. His bone marrow is functioning and making leukocytes, just not the neutrophils we need to go home.

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