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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Whoa, move over chemo, time for some Rhinovirusing

So Andrew's amazingly explosive diarrhea has become a thing of the past, replaced with a watery running nose, itchy red eyes, and a little man who refuses to nap. We put a swabby up his nose to see what was causing his symptoms, and it turns out it's a rhinovirus. Whew! Man, if you had to make me choose a virus to give Andrew at this point, Rhino would be one of my top picks. If I remember right from virology, it causes about 50% of colds and lives in your nose because your body temp is too hot for it, hence the "rhino."

It's been a rough week overall, just because the solution to everything for Andrew is mama. He wants to be held all the time, although it's gotten better in the last 24 hours. Makes it hard to get out at all, and I've found myself staying up late talking to people in the unit for some social interaction. Stew has been so helpful when I need him most (very late at night), holding Andrew until he falls into a deep sleep. I didn't realize how tired I was until Stew told me that a few nights ago that he was half-shouting at me right above my head asking if he thought we should give Andrew some oxycodone, and I didn't respond.

One of my more social/outgoing activities lately was going to give blood at ARUP. I didn't realize this, but they are the sole provider of blood for a bunch of hospitals up here, including Primary's. My crit barely passed at 38, though. Compared to Andrew, though, that's pretty high.

I've been meaning to donate blood for a while now. I'm keeping a faithful tally, with 4 more transfusions to add to the total this round (two RBC, two platelet). The platelet one on Friday was a bad one, though. His blood type is B+ and they only had AB+ platelets, which is what they gave him. I'm going to insist they match next time though (even though they don't have to), because I think since it's only leuko-reduced that the contaminating red cells of that AB donor were what gave him this huge nasty rash on Friday that had him screaming for hours. Doesn't matter if it's irradiated--if it has red cells in there, the antigen will still be there. I really should have known better--I just wasn't thinking. No fun, but I've learned my lesson.

Anyway, Andrew's still zeroed out for neutrophils, so as long as you're over 14, you wear a mask, and haven't been sick for 2 weeks or around anyone who's been sick for at least a week, you can come visit. I have so many people to thank for calls, visits, dinner, etc., even though it's been 4 months since Andrew was diagnosed with cancer, you're all still going strong! The speaker up here on Sunday talked about how important it is to be grateful, especially when you're having a rough time. I think that's probably hard for conventional wisdom to understand, but I really feel like it's true. We're really so grateful for the support, everyone, so thanks!


  1. Lizzie, I just want you to know that I've been reading your family's story and praying for you for months. You're right when you say that your friends and family are still here beside you cheering you on and supporting you. Love you!

  2. Erin had Rhinovirus, not fun, but if you had to pick, you're right. That would be a top choice. I hated how everyone had to wear protective gowns and masks though. The Dr.s and nurses didn't like it much - especially when the symptoms were gone. Good luck! I love your postivie attitude.

  3. We were hoping Rachel had rhinovirus, but it ended up being Influenza A...go figure! But she's doing much better now, thank goodness! I was so glad to read your update...crazy how often I'm checking on all our cancer friends. Sorry this round has been a challenging one, but as always, it seems that you and Stew have had an amazing outlook since day one. That is very commendable. Give cute little Andrew a hug for us and we'll pray for a quick count recovery.

  4. Thanks for the new pics!
    Hope the counts are going up. Love you so much!