Hemoglobin, Platelets and Wigs, Oh My!
Yesterday (Wed Sep 5) Lorelei received two units of blood to combat low hemoglobin. She said she didn't feel like she'd need a transfusion when they drew her blood on Tuesday Sep 4. But her hemoglobin was 8.1 and platelets were 54. The fact that she didn't "feel" like she needed one is an indication (at least to me) that she has adapted very well to her "new normal." Being tired just feels normal to her. Receiving someone else's blood kind of creeped Lorelei out a bit but she handled it well. (Handling transfusions well is a necessary skill when one is fighting a blood cancer.)
Today (Thurs Sep 6) she had blood drawn again. This time her hemoglobin had come up to 11.3 (still low, but not bad) but her platelets dropped to 31. (I hate to think what they might have been if she had not had the transfusion yesterday.) So, even though she hates the thought of it, she will have another blood draw on Monday Sep 10. (She is growing very weary of having an appointment every single day--it's putting a real cramp on her social life.)
The doctor decided to do an MRI on Lorelei's back in the area where she has been having considerable pain--between her shoulder blades. That will happen on Wednesday Sep 12. We did an x-ray on this area when she was in the hospital for her second round of RICE chemo to see if her pain was caused possibly by a broken or displaced rib. The x-ray showed nothing remarkable except her known scoliosis. The pain has continued and is not the same as the pain she experiences from Neulasta. This pain has been significant enough that it takes two Vicodin just to take the edge off. So, hopefully the MRI will shed some light.
Today Lorelei's white blood counts were high (25.4) but she's not been running a fever. Two days ago they were 14.2 which was considered high even at that time. Please pray that if these high WBCs indicate her body is trying to fight an infection that it will go away or that we'll know clearly if and when it is time to intervene with an antibiotic.
Next week she'll have a bone marrow biopsy too. We're praying it will be clear of any cancer so her own stem cells can be used for her transplant. Lorelei's siblings will be relieved if their donor services won't be necessary!
On Tues Sept 18 Lorelei will go to OU for a bunch of tests that need to be done before the transplant. (She'll have a PET, pulmonary function test and echocardiogram this day.) Lorelei is praying Dr. Holter won't think she needs a third round of RICE chemo and Lorelei will be able to begin the stem cell transplant the following week.
Lorelei's wig is becoming worn out. (Synthetic wigs don't usually last a long time.) I wonder who gets the real human hair wigs made by "Locks of Love" because I've never met anyone who has had one yet. Her original synthetic wig would have been fine if she'd concluded all chemo in July as originally planned. But since she will likely not begin to grow her own hair back until November that wig is getting more than usual wear. She asked me to call the insurance company to see if they would cover another "cranial prosthesis" for her (they pay $250 toward one wig) but I was told their allowance is per calendar year. So she can't get a new wig covered until next January. This bothered Lorelei but she accepted that we could not afford to replace her wig. (And hey, Kellie Pickler just shaved her head, so bald may be in style soon.) Then something amazing happened. A friend from Stillwater drove to our house late Tuesday evening with a check. He said the Lord had laid it on his heart to give this amount of money. And, as it turns out, that amount of money is exactly the cost of a new wig to get Lorelei through fall and winter! God is so good to us.
And my car is still running! If we can keep it going till Dustin leaves on October 6 then I can drive his Jeep. If the old Taurus kicks the bucket while Dustin is in Afghanistan we'll have all that time to replace it.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."
--Philippians 4:19 New International Version (NIV)
Posted on Thu, September 6, 2012
by Andrea Decker