Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pros and Cons

It's really nice to be back in the stem-cell transplant wing. Small things like making baking-soda mouthwash available to keep bacteria down in the mouth make a big difference. Not that there's much relief for the pain, but it's good to have a more targeted approach. It also is a little more comfortable for me, and Janelle watched over Krista again this afternoon as I took a much needed nap. Thanks Janelle! Thanks also to the Laura/Monica/Linda/Tim relay team that gathered up our mail over the last week and handed it off, one after the other, and managed to get it to us germ-free (even with sick kids).

With all the good news, it's getting more difficult for Krista to feel her progress and she's been having bouts of anxiety over the seemingly never ending pain. She managed to eat a few bites of cream of wheat, though her swallowing wasn't all that successful and much of it stayed in her mouth. Grape juice went down relatively quickly, but the stinging afterward was so bad she shied away from it the rest of the day. Chicken broth generated a large amount of mucous and the attempt to cough it up just wears her out.

Labs continue to improve slightly on both liver and kidney arenas. Her white blood count is up to .99 today, but the netrophil count is the same as yesterday at 300. The ICU doctor told me yesterday that she was no longer "severely neutropenic", but I think that he was overly optimistic about it. She'll be "severe" until it reaches 500. And, she's unlikely to get any help with her mouth pain until that count rises beyond that.

Krista's "period" bleeding began again this morning, even though her count was at 20,000. I asked the oncologist about this and he thinks that this is not a true period but is a transitional bleeding that can happen with chemo-/radiation-induced infertility. The treatment for this is either birth control pills (which they have been giving her since she started the "period" last week) or estrogen treatments to help build up tissue. Those are decisions to discuss with her gynecologist later, and the main treatment right now seems to be to try to stop the bleeding by getting and keeping her platelets over 50,000. Her platelet count continues going up and down, but for weeks it hasn't gone up much more than the mid-20,000s. It's hard to believe that they could get it that high any time soon, but there are 8 donors that have been flagged as a good match at the UCLA blood bank so maybe if they get aggressive it could happen. I'm sure that number is a huge reflection of the number of people who have been coming to donate for Krista. Thank you all again!

Even though we can't see it coming, we are still clinging on to God to bring some relief. What seems impossible to us is full of possibility to Him.

For nothing is impossible with God.
(Luke 1:37)

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