Wednesday, November 5, 2008
If Liz can do this...
As you may have read in Christine's post on the blog, Lizzy did well during her 2 procedures yesterday. She actually walked down the hall to the procedure room! She had a BM (Bone Marrow Aspiration) , and a ST (Spinal Tap). The doctors are checking both for blasts (immature white blood cells). The hope is that they would be minimal, thus indicating she is a Rapid Responder. The preliminary results last night showed too many blast to consider her a RR, but the conclusive results come back today. Please PRAY that she leans more towards the RR end of the spectrum.
If she is not considered a total RR this time, she has one more week.
She received more high dose chemo yesterday (as planned), and will have
another BM on on November 11th (Day 15). Regardless of where she
falls, she will receive the same chemo protocol either way. The results will be confirmed on November 25th, (Day 29). Day 29 will determine what the next steps are. Of course, a RR will have fewer steps in the protocol, and a Slow Responder will have more, including radiation. After today, and day 29, I will detail the next steps.
Here is a quick clarification: Regarding Lizzy's "counts"...(Lots of new terminology these past few weeks!)...
When we say "counts", we are refering to her Complete Blood Count (CBC). In a nut shell, and specifically, we are looking at her White Blood Cells (WBC), her Red Blood Cells (RBC), and her Platelets.
WBC - There are many phases a WBC goes through to become "mature", and be able to fight infection. In leukemia, the body is producing massive
immature white blood cells, generally called blasts. (Blast is a bad
word!) Basically, the bone marrow, that make our blood cells, is stuck. It is like when a record gets stuck, and stays on the same few words over and over again. (Remember records?!) So we have WAY, WAY too many blasts, crowding out any room for RBCs or Platelets. The blasts are not able to fight infection, which is the job of the WBCs.
RBC - In the RBC we look at hemoglobin and hematocrit (H/H). These function to bring oxygen through out the body. With a low H/H, Lizzy will be tired, and pale. This could also affect her heart function.
Platelets are the clotting factors in the blood. With so many blasts, there are minimal platelets to do the important job of clotting, so Lizzy may have trouble with her gums bleeding, or nose bleeds...(common with low platelets), among other, more serious bleeding.
So - you will be hearing, or asking..."What were Lizzy's counts?"
"Her WBCs were at zero!"
"Her platelets were down"
"Her H /H were down."
When her blast "counts," this week, had hit zero...that is VERY good, and the goal.
That means zero blasts in her blood. Yesterday, they tested her bone marrow, and spinal fluid...she still had blasts there, (not sure how many yet)..but the goal is zero there too.
So, yes, we want competing things....no blasts, high platelets and high H&H. We will not be able to get all that at the same time. The priority is no blasts, and they will give her RBCs and Platelets when those "counts" go down.
The dilema is, with a zero / low count of WBCs, Liz has no ability to fight infection. So it is counter intuitive...Low counts, (indicating we should not visit), are actually the goal at this time.
Now, in the future, after she is at zero for awhile, the goal will be for her body for start to make mature WBC's again. (Getting the record unstuck). At this point we will want to hear that her counts are up...but that will not be for awhile.
So, Lizzy got high doses of Chemo yesterday, as planned...one intrathecally (spinal), and 2 IV. She was tired last night, but peaceful. She has not been conked out all day as predicted... she has generally felt good. The chemo will continue this week, and she will have another BM on Tuesday, the 15th. She will continue to get predisone each day. A side effect of prednisone is increased appetite. Lizzy is enjoying the likes of Burger King, and burritos...and even ate Christines dinner the other night, in addition to her own. You go girl!
I do have a few more fun things I want to share with you. God is revealing himself to the Lothrops in amazing ways...more on that later...
Thank God for the amazing ways He is providing for the Lothrops.
Thank God that Lizzy is feeling good.
Thank God that he has protected Lizzy from and 2ndary infections.
Pray for continued protection.
For Lizzy to be a Rapid Responder...
That each and every blast will be quickly eliminated form Lizzy's body For peace and wisdom for Randy and Christine
By the way...please remember...WASH YOUR HANDS, WEAR A MASK, and GET a FLU SHOT if you are going to visit Lizzy.
Momma Bear, Christine, will uphold this non-negotiables...and I wouldn't mess with her!
More later this afternoon/evening!