Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday, 10:39 p.m.

Liz had an MRI this morning resulting from a concern that she might have something on her spine that could cause her to be paralyzed permanently. She wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything because the doctors had to be prepared to send her into emergency surgery if anything showed up. Around 3:30 this afternoon, the doctor came in and told the Lothrops that the MRI was "really encouraging." Nothing on her spine to be concerned about, and so far, it looks like it is just leukemia ("just" sounds ridiculous, but it could be leukemia and a host of other major issues), as well as a resulting infection that caused the high fever last night.

Liz also received the first of three units of blood that were intended to help get her counts back to normal (she had already received some platelets earlier this morning to help with clotting). From the first unit alone, the change in Liz was dramatic, from lethargic, disoriented and practically motionless to alert, smiling and moving her legs without effort for the first time since her back injury. Her color returned to normal, and she got to enjoy some cheese fries and Coke while receiving the transfusions.

Currently, Liz's infection is being treated aggressively with antibiotics to prepare her body as much as possible for leukemia treatments. Tomorrow, she will have a PICC line inserted in her upper arm to give her more flexibility and movement during treatments and transfusions, but otherwise, it should be a quiet day. On Monday afternoon, she will have a bone marrow evaluation to determine what type of leukemia she has - there are two different broad categories, one with a 50% successful treatment rate, the other with an 80% successful treatment rate. Once the doctors have determined the broad category (praying for the second), probably sometime Monday evening, she will begin treatment on Tuesday morning. If she has the 50% type, she will have aggressive treatment continuously for one year. If she has the 80% type, it will be an aggressive treatment with occasional pauses over two years.

Needless to say, it has been an overwhelming and exhausing day for Liz, Randy, Christine, Cat and Jimmy. Please be praying that they all get some sleep tonight and have some time to process everything tomorrow before the whirlwind begins again.

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