Monday, March 3, 2014

One Week Down - Moving into the second week

The first week after the first treatment is over.  Tiffany has she would be fine not to have to go through this again.

We had another transfusion on Friday.  She went in early for her blood test and it came back with her hemoglobin back down in the 6's (low), but with her platelet counts down to a 17 and neutrophil counts to a critical level. 

Her platelet count has been slowly dropping in this area for a while, but 17 is a new low - normal is somewhere from 150-400 - a wide range.  Tiff for the last few years has hovered around 100 +- 20 and really the reason we started looking into things 4 years ago.  The last few weeks she has dropped down to 50 and 30.  The concern is obviously bleeding. 

On Saturday, while I finished off a Christmas promise with the kids and took them skiing, Tiffany's sister was here staying with her when she started to bleed.  Tiffany was suggesting she would be just fine, but her sister said that if she didn't stop bleeding in 20 minutes, off to the hospital they would go.  A long 18 minutes later it ended up stopping.  A concern for which we have to watch.  The doctors will give a platelet transfusion at some point if it is too low, but we aren't really sure what that point is.  We thought if is dropped below 20 they would do it, but they opted not to give her any platelets on Friday, so we will just wait and see what happens.

Her  low neutrophil count makes her very susceptible to infection.  These are the white blood cells that fight for your good health.  She has to be cautious when coming in contact with people to be sure she doesn't pick up any infection.  The problem is, Tiffany likes people, and she likes going to church.  Because of what she is going through, people want to give her a hug, get close to her, and talk to her.  So at church she wears a mask, hoping that will give people a heads up that she can't get close and can't shake their hands.  It generally does the trick so she doesn't have to say, 'Hey, get away!'

So there you have it.  An update on Tiffany.  Thanks to modern medicine, the cruddy feelings she gets can be held at bay with other medicines.  And the side effects of those medicines are pushed back by other medicines.  Her cocktail of drugs seems to grow, and she laughs at it, all the while hoping that these drugs will allow her to make it through this trial, and in a few months time, be able to say 'thank you and goodbye' to them forever more.

Cheers,

Nathan

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