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Wed. 10/1/03 - ANC

Wednesday, 10/1/03
Les was able to avoid a hemoglobin transfusion this last round. Yeah!!! His ANC is still really low though – even lower than before. We think it’s because he’s still battling this cold/cough thing. His next round of chemo was originally scheduled for tomorrow (10/2) but we are delaying it until next week. His ANC needs to be above 500 and right now it is around 300. Check out the Blood Counts for Kids website link under Favorite Websites/ Les’ Favorites/page 2 for more information about what the different parts of the blood do and what normal counts are. The ANC is the Absolute Neutrophil Count (Neut and Benny on the website).

Well, Les is still a bit sick, but Jason and I are healthy again – for the most part. We have been able to adjust Les’ feedings back to a little more reasonable timing at night, which is giving us a bit more sleep. Les is still vomiting occasionally, but not usually first thing in the morning like he had been.

This last week was a bit topsy-turvy. First, our regular Dr. check on Thursday (9/25/03) had us discontinuing Les’ weekly antibiotic dose because sometimes they can lead to lower blood counts. Then, Les’ g-tube site had been looking a bit red, and it was rather sensitive. I took him to see the surgeon on Thursday, and he put him on yet another antibiotic for a week. It seems to have worked because the redness has gone away and Les isn’t quite as protective about it. On top of that, this past Monday (9/29/03) Les had a very slight rise in temperature, so I called the hospital. They assured me he was probably just fine but to keep an eye on him. Well, between coughing and vomiting every day, a touchy g-tube, a slight increase in temperature, and low ANC, I decided for peace of mind I wanted a doctor to see him again and get another blood test.

So, yesterday (9/30/03) we drove down and spent 4 hours in clinic (most of the time waiting). I was informed that Les’ g-tube and temperature were just fine. His cough is still only upper respiratory and hasn’t traveled to his lungs, so we are good in that department. But, his ANC was even lower than last week. I asked what we are supposed to do about this to protect him from infections and was informed that basic common sense prevails – keep him away from germ-infested areas such as playgrounds and wash our hands a lot. I asked about quarantining him as the ultimate protection, but was informed that he is at risk from his own germs as much as from anyone else’s, so we might as well go on with as normal of life as possible using basic precautions.

Where does this leave us? I guess we could buy stock in Purell (antibacterial hand gel) and hand it out to everyone we meet. Or we pick and choose our social contacts and pray pray pray that Les doesn’t catch anything (and still pass the hand gel around).

Please continue praying for Les. Especially that this cough disappears. I’ll try to update the site next week about his counts and when he actually gets chemo. Oh, and Les has a hearing test on Monday. I’ll post the results of that as well.