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, January 17, 2011


Andrew's mostly back to his normal cheery self. Except for the first 5 days during the first round, this round has been almost exactly like the last. This has meant that for about a week after the chemo ended he has been uncomfortable a lot of the time, but it is certainly very manageable. One of the nurses was telling me that kids, if they're distracted, aren't really able to feel pain as acutely as adults, and I totally agree with that. When other people have been in the room or he's really excited about playing with his toys, he is fine, but I think that when he thinks about how he's feeling, he realizes that he doesn't feel that great and gets pretty crabby. Otherwise it's been an uneventful round, and around here, we like uneventful!

His ANC (absolute neutrophil count) has been at zero for the last 4 or 5 days, but he's only needed one RBC (red blood cell) transfusion and one platelet transfusion so far, which is great! I really don't know how he up keeps his hematocrit so well (a measure of red blood cells). Almost always, kids in here need several transfusions to keep from bottoming out with RBCs and especially platelets. It was a little scary the other day when they drew his labs in the morning and he was at 15,000 platelets/uL (the normal range is between 150,000-400,000 platelets/uL, and he's normally in the 300,000s). That night he started bruising and then got a nosebleed, so I asked if they could transfuse overnight, but they convinced me to wait until the next morning. Apparently, only if they're bleeding uncontrollably do they do a transfusion without having the platelets at a certain level. It also totally depends on the attending doctor--sometimes their threshold for transfusing is 15,000, some have it as 12,000, and some only transfuse at 10,000 plts/uL (which is considered 'critical'). Andrew got down to 9,000 before they transfused, but whoever donated his platelets had good, fresh ones, because he jumped right up to 99,000.

The hair he's grown between rounds has turned out to be this white-blond fuzz. They say when hair falls out on anyone getting chemo that it can often grow back another color. I haven't had the heart to shave his little soul-patch in the back that refuses to fall out:

We are now up for visitors! There are some extra rules for the flu/RSV season, so please stay away if:

-You're under 14 years old
-You have been sick in the last two weeks, or you're starting to feel something coming on
-You've been around anyone sick in the last week

Otherwise, as long as you wash your hands really well and wear a mask, we'd love to see ya!


  1. I am glad that you guys can have visitors now. But I can't bring Addie with me, right???

  2. sorry Mike, we would love to see you guys, but they don't even let siblings in who are close to 14 years old in here.