Take that, lymphoma!!
By Colleen Simon — 1 hour ago
Guess what?! Dr. Wagner is pleased with the CT scan from this morning because it shows the cowardly lymphoma is surrendering to the chemo already!!! We are so happy to confirm our suspicion that we have been on the right track and making progress!! Praise the Lord! Alison is now off constant pain medicine - only on an as-needed basis now! Remember that EBV level of 1.6 million? It's down to 399,708 now - a big drop, but a ways to go yet to reach the "negative" status of <200. But, it's great progress!!
Dr. Sanders has been monitoring Alison's immunosuppressants that she takes to protect her kidney. She has always taken two types, but one type has been dropped for now. Myfortic can lower white blood cell counts, and with the chemo already doing that, it seems it's better to stop taking it for the time being. That beautiful kidney continues it's stellar performance!!
Hard hitting chemo starts this coming Monday. Alison will have 6 days of chemo, as well as 3 lumbar punctures during the week to check spinal fluid and deliver chemo directly, keeping the spine cancer-free. During one of the lumbar punctures, her doctor will also check the bone marrow in her hips to confirm progress made there. After the week of chemo, she will have 3 weeks off during which she can go home. If she gets a fever or symptoms of illness, she will have to return to Sioux Falls right away. Otherwise, we hope the blood work will be good so she can attend school. The ANC blood number indicates her level of immunity. The normal amount of ANC is 1,500. If the ANC drops below 500, she will not be able to go to school or other crowded places. The drop in ANC tends to occur the first 2-3 days following chemo, then her body will recuperate. We remain hopeful!! Alison is also glad that she will be home for her 18th birthday October 11th!! After that, she can sign her own hospital papers! ;)
The second round of chemo will be just like the first. Beyond that, I can't give exact details, yet. Alison's doctor talked a little bit about it, but I'm one of those visual learners who needs to see the plan on a calendar or list.
I will be requesting that from her doctor's nurse next week. Dr. Wagner is optimistic that she will be able to work Alison's chemo treatment around the trip to Louisville, KY. Alison was chosen to sing soprano in the National FFA Chorus at the National Convention the end of October. I'm guessing Brian or I will need to go along - aw, shucks!!
I went with Alison and our dear Child Life ladies to the boutique this afternoon. Alison had fun choosing a way-cool wig for the inevitable loss of her hair. No one can say for sure when that will happen, but this way, she's prepared at any time. Ya'll are gonna' love it!
She also picked out a cool hat. Alison is one stylish young lady!! I'll be the fashion-challenged old lady in her shadow!! ;)
My mother-in-law, Carol, sent me back here with her cherry kuchen, so we've been busy consuming that, gaining health from it's curative properties!! Nobody makes it better, let me tell ya!! I also delivered flowers and balloons to Alison from her senior classmates that they ordered from Ellen Logan! They are beautiful and Alison loves them and is inspired by them! When we were here before, Alison stayed on the Pediatric Intensive Care floor where they didn't allow flowers in her room. I was hoping that was a PICU rule only, but it turns out they have to keep them out of regular Pediatric rooms, as well. They are right outside the room, but that may be something to keep in mind for future gifting. Keep those hugs and prayers coming, too!! We rely so much on you!! Thank you!!
It shouldn't be long before I manage to get a fresh photo or two on this site. I foresee some opportunities this weekend and next week. ;)
Much love to you and prayers for your good health,