Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Good to be Home

Sarah came home Thursday. We brought her in the door and laid her sick little body on the couch. She was quiet for a while and then it started. The smiling, laughing, and then talking. Our sweet little girl came back to us and the transformation was remarkable. While in the hospital Sarah was extremely quiet and withdrawn. She would go through an entire day and say only a sentence or two. Never responding to the doctors and nurses and often not even her mom and dad. Home and family have been good medicine for her.

We take her back to the hospital on Wednesday for another spinal tap and bone marrow aspiration to determine if she is ready for the next step in her treatment. We are hoping that after next Wednesday we will be told it's time to transfer her care to Boston to prepare for the transplant. But of course we have no idea how soon that will or will not happen.

She has had a little vacation from all her medicines in order to give her body a chance to recover some white blood cells and the special neutrophils she needs to fight infection. While we were glad she didn't need to take any drugs, the withdrawal from the prednisone has given her terrible pains in her legs. So much so that she doesn't want to move around nor even walk to the bathroom herself. Tomorrow we'll be trying Tylenol with codeine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 29 - Over Another Hurdle

The doctor told us that Sarah's bone marrow biopsy testing confirmed yesterdays initial results. Sarah's bone marrow is "empty" of the Leukemia blasts. She still has Leukemia within her body, but at a very low level. Now we wait for her bone marrow to recover and we prepare to talk with the folks in Boston regarding the bone marrow transplant. Awesome news.

To pile on even more good news, Sarah is going home from the hospital tomorrow!

It's hard to believe we would receive so much good news in one day. Today was a good day.

So much to be grateful for.
-Psalm 18:28-31

Day 28 - Almost out of Induction

Today was a big day for Sarah. It was day 28 in her induction therapy intended to bring her leukemia into remission. She had a bone marrow aspiration to determine if she had reached bone marrow remission.

The initial results were good with her bone marrow basically being "empty". Her "empty" bone marrow means she has no signs of cancer cells (or neutrophils) in her bone marrow. This was a quick preliminary assessment to determine if a rapid change in chemotherapy should be considered. Tomorrow afternoon we learn more definitively the state of her bone marrow from a bone marrow biopsy test that was initiated today. The doctor told us not to celebrate today and wait to see what we get from the biopsy tomorrow. The doctor did say she expects we will see cancer cell counts that are close to the definition of remission.

Provided the results we heard today hold after the biopsy results are in tomorrow, then Sarah comes off chemotherapy/Gleevec and her body is allowed to rebuild her neutrophil count. Once the neutrophil count gets high enough (>500) then Sarah can come home again before her bone marrow transplant.

Sarah was very tired this afternoon and her hair sort of comes out in your hand if you brush your fingers through it. I like to think of this as an outward sign of the drugs doing their job. Maybe one day, drugs like this will not be needed to treat Leukemia.

We really felt good about the news today and are very thankful for every ones help and prayers. A few more prayers and I will post the learning's from tomorrow late in the evening.
-Psalm 62:7-8