I just wanted to give a quick medical update on Elizabeth.
This Tues., Jan. 6th, is day 29 of the Consolidation Phase. Her platelets, the blood clotting agent, need to be at 75,000 and her ANC, the Absolute Neutrophile Count, which is her immune system, has to be at 750. Her ANC's are not there yet but we are praying that they make a huge leap over the weekend.
The reason for the overnight admit is due to the drug called Cyclophosphamide or CPM which is given over a 30 minute IV drip. This chemo drug needs to be flushed through her system within a 24 hour period. Some of the damage it can cause is to the kidney and liver if not flushed quickly.
The docs are always excited about her platelets rising on their own but I get excited about her ANC's because that lets her have a bit more normal life. Seeing her friends is very important and keeps her spirits up.
The second half of the Consolidation Phase is identical to the first which was not an easy 29 days. Unfortunately the chemo drug that makes her so sick is the one that I have to give her. It is called Cytarabine or AraC. This drug is given through her port over a four minute period for eight days; by the end of the eight days this chemo has accumulated in her system and knocks her blood counts for a loop, not to mention gives her debilitating headaches and makes her vomit. I know it has to be done but it gets pretty tough sometimes. One of the side effects of the AraC is flu like symptoms and spiking fevers. Well we know that a fever means a hospital stay for Elizabeth. There is no way to tell if the fever is from the AraC or a virus so she has to be treated as if she has a virus with heavy duty antibiotics.
I think we are caught up from our unexpected hospital stay a few weeks ago. That really through us all off track. We came home on Tues. Dec., 23 but Liz did not get out of bed until Dec. 25. We thank God for giving us Christmas day to enjoy with our family. She went down again until the following week but as soon as she felt well she was off to the Beach Water Park with a group of friends. When Elizabeth is up she is up but when she is down she is down. Elizabeth typically spends 15 to 17 hrs. a day sleeping when she is not feeling well. If she does not respond to your text or phone call you know she is having a bad day; remember a bad day lasts sometimes for a week. If you become worried about her you can always call me and I will let you know what is going on with her.
Please continue to pray for the following:
All the children on the 5th floor of Children's Hospital
Elizabeth's doctors and anyone coming in contact with Elizabeth
minimal side effect of the chemo drugs
minimal bone and muscle ache
her platelets to remain high
her ANC's to reach 750 for Tues.
her hemoglobin to remain in the normal range
Thank you for continuing to pray for Elizabeth and our family. God has been so gracious to us and continues to bring old and new friends back into our life.