Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blood, Swelling, and Tears

The blood and platelet transfusions have begun. Krista's white blood count continues to come down (0.06 yesterday; 0.01 today). Her red blood count was down to 8 yesterday, so they gave her two pints of red blood. Today, the platelet count is down to 6000 (a "dangerous" level according to the nurse), so they are giving her non-typed platelets. This has been a gamble in the past, as her body has often rejected the platelets and ended up even lower. There is a possibility that with the wiping out of her marrow that the platelet sensitivity may be reduced. They are going to test her platelet level after the transfusion to see whether it worked or not.

Another challenge the doctors have always warned us about is mucositis. According to the wikipedia:

Mucositis is the painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, usually as an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer. Oral and gastrointestinal (GI) mucositis can affect up to 100% of patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation...

It's no surprise, then, that Krista has come down with full-blown mucositis. The related mouth and throat pain is the most difficult part for her. The inflammation is visible in her cheeks and the doctors need to keep it under control so it doesn't restrict her airway. They're adding benadryl to the mix to try to bring down the inflammation, and if that doesn't work they may try steroids. The benadryl makes her really groggy, and she's in and out of sleep -- sometimes in the middle of a conversation.

Please add stabilizing her blood levels and healing from mucositis to your prayers for Krista, as well as restoring her appetite. She hasn't eaten much in the past three days, between the nausea and being unable to chew. The nurse said she didn't think that adding an IV food drip would be a good idea because the vitamins in it can end up upsetting her stomach.

O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
(Psalm 141:1-3)


Anonymous said...

Aboutt he mucositis: can you ask her nurse or doctor about possibly adding "Tom's Solution" to the mix? It's a mix of liquids: Benadryl, Lidocaine, and Decadron that she can swish/spit/swallow that seems to help a lot of patients alleviate the pain and inflammation from mucositis. Just a suggestion! I'm sure they are trying and doing everything possible. :-)
I am continuing to pray for you, Krista!

Mike said...

I haven't mentioned the "pink stuff", as they call it. It's the same mix that you're describing there. She's been doing this since she came down with the mucositis. It helps some. Thanks for praying!