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, March 11, 2011

More time at Home

So as of Wednesday, Andrew has an ANC (absolute neutrophil count) of 400. On Monday, it was 600, so they had scheduled an aspirate and LP (lumbar puncture) for Thursday, but since his neutrophils took a dip, they're postponing it for a week. This means another week and a half at home! Yaay! It's so funny that for the last 2 rounds I've been itching to get back in the hospital and get her done, but for some reason this time I'm in denial of having to go live at Primary's for another month. This next round (also called Intensification 2, or round 4) is considered to be the hardest round with an average stay of 35 days. Yuck.

I have just been loving my time at home. I've been spoiled because round 3 was only 17 days long for us--we really just squeaked out of there with an ANC of zero and just a couple of neutrophils. One day when Andrew just had 1 neutrophil, they said, "Yeah, he had one neutrophil, and we took it," but I guess he passed their test of being able to go home. The doctor who let us go was one of the more liberal ones, and I know they were hurting for beds, but hey, I'm not complaining :). Even though we're still antisocial and we can't quite go outside all the time just yet, I have almost forgotten that Andrew had cancer.

Last night I was able to go to a cancer mom's dinner with 16 other ladies whose children are in treatment or who recently completed treatment for cancer. With the exception of 2 people, all of them had kids with ALL (also known as "the good leukemia"), and most of their kids are around 3 or 4 years old. I learned so much about the disease--it really is a whole different basket when it comes to treatment. Totally different protocol with different chemos, different precautions, different medications... Although the remission rate and overall cure rate is much higher for ALL than AML, they really have it tough having to go to clinic over a 3-year period. I was pretty overwhelmed with all of the collective wisdom in the room, and I really felt like each one of them really was my hero. I honestly can't imagine myself in any of their shoes. One of them was told 3 nights in a row that her daughter wouldn't live through the night. Geesh! Talk about stressful... Anyway, I think we should all regroup in about 5 years and rename the group "Hypochondriacs Anonymous" because it seems that when we see that anything is slightly out of the ordinary, we all tend to diagnose friends and family with leukemia.

Even though we've left the hospital, I can't help but check our other friends' blogs many times a day to see if anything has changed. We're hoping and praying Aubree will just breeze right through transplant and that Kim will finally achieve remission and be able to go to transplant.

Love you all, and thanks so much for your continued support and prayers!


  1. You say it all so right! I wish so much I could make it to the cancer mom dinners. It is so much fun and those women are such great strength. I really need that connection!

    And, did you post the "good leukemia" comment for me? :) I'll never forget that parent hour with all the AML parents talking about how we had the "bad leukemia"! I am so grateful we met.

    Andrew has done remarkably well through his first 3 rounds of chemo. The 4th round was one of our most difficult due to that darn cellultis sore. We ended up only going 32 days though and had to get neupogen through IV. You guys will get through it fast and soon enough you'll be done.

    P.S. You apartment is darling!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this and for sharing with us your thoughts and experiences. I know how strengthening it is to share burdens and am so glad you get to meet with other mothers. We love our little Andrew so much! Please give him an extra hug for Grandma!

  3. Hi Lizzie,
    Funny how even when we are not at the Hospital we are all still checking on each other and our cancer kids. so glad you get to be home for a little while long, we are coming back on the 31 of march, enjoy your time at home, and know we are thinking and checking on you often.
    Love Kristi

  4. Lizzie--
    Andrew is growing up! We love the pics and are glad you are enjoying your time at home. (Although we were hoping to visit you at the hospital on Tuesday when we go to clinic!)

    We hope that round 4 goes well. I'm sure it will. Keep smiling and know that we still think of and pray for you all often.