Friday, November 5, 2010

Update from Tulsa

Hello from Tulsa.  It is a clear 58 degrees here.  It is so much cooler here.  I just have to tell you that I have read Elizabeth's reply to my driving post now three times and she makes me literally laugh out loud.  She is a hoot that girl of ours!  Yes, Missy, you got me!  Enough said....for now anyway.  We did blood work this morning and then met with the nurse practitioner.  We see the oncologist about every other visit.  We really like the NP, Marie.  She is so sweet, easy to talk too and just gives us all of the time we need to make sure that we understand all of this.  She immediately informed us that Pat is nutropenic.  This is the definition:

Neutropenia (NEW-TROH-PEE-NEE-AH) caused by cancer chemotherapy. Neutropenia is a common side effect for as many as one in three patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.The neutrophils are the main white blood cell defense against infections, and are, along with the cancer cells, killed by the chemotherapy. The most common symptoms include fevers, mouth sores, ear infections, pneumonia and other sores and infections. The mouth, a major entry point for bacteria,, can be a real trouble spot. Chemotherapy may have to be delayed until the body can produce more neutrophils and a lower dosage may have to be given, resulting in the treatment being less effective.
 It is too dangerous to have the chemo treatment today.  Therefore, Pat received a shot to rebuild the white blood cells.  He could possibly feel severe bone aches as a side effect.   Everyone responds differently.  The good news is that Pat's bilirubin is back to normal!  This means that he is responding to the chemo. While we wait to get the counts up, he cannot eat fresh fruits or vegetables, but have them cooked.  Marie said Pat's protein is better so that made me feel good about our nutrition.  We had a choice today to give Pat a shot and stay until Monday and possibly get chemo on Monday or we could get the shot today and return next Friday to begin chemo again.  We will have to do some blood work mid week with Pat's primary doctor to check the numbers and then check in with Tulsa.  Our goal is to keep on the Friday treatments, but Marie emphasized that you really can only plan one treatment at a time which goes against Miss Plan Head.  I only had a few minutes this morning for a quiet time and God reassured me that "I am the God of Hope, Paige".  We believe it and we claim it.  We are looking forward to tomorrow to watch Garrett play in a basketball scrimmage.  Go Spartans!  Enjoy your cool, crisp, Friday evening!

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