Blood counts

We are done with cytarabine. Vega had her last dose yesterday. she will only receive another set over two weeks in delayed intensification 1 and in delayed intensification 2 (check the link for her treatment protocol if you are interested in the blocks). having two sets in this block has been intense. Vega has now been neutropenic for nearly six weeks, it is a miracle really that she has not caught anything nasty. I look at the treatment protocol often, ticking things off as we go along. one step at a time, but I am also so desperate to get it all over and done with. but now she has had two sets of cytarabine it means there are only two more to go during the entire length of her treatment so I am telling myself “half way done”. with cytarabine anyway. plenty of other things inbetween.

Vega had bloods taken yesterday as we are now watching closely for her red blood cells and platelets dropping, a result of the cytarabine, we are heading into transfusion territory slowly, but surely.

Vega’s blood counts 26/04/12

Vega’s counts first, average in brackets behind.

HB (red blood cells)- 10  (9.5-15)

WBC (white blood cells)- 0.11  (4.5-11)

Neutrophils (infection fighting part of the white blood cells)- 0.03   (>1 is not neutropenic, normal range starts at 3)

Platelets 107  (150-450)

she is being transfused for red blood cells if they fall under 7, platelets transfusion is under 10 but only if she does not have a procedure or chemo planned that breaches the skin, ie. injections etc, then the level is 50. she is due a chemo by injection on Tuesday next week, which makes it pretty certain that she will need a platelet transfusion on Monday or Tuesday.

we will have to keep a close eye on her this weekend for any signs of anemia or low platelets, next blood test is on Monday morning.

today she is mainly tired. she has already slept this morning although it is only midday, and she asks me if i can lie with her and cuddle in bed. that is rather tricky as Alys is toddling about, climbing things and strokes/hits the cat. she has just gone to sleep again, by herself.

i am hoping we get some cuddle time when Alys needs a nap. this is one of the things i am struggling with at the moment and i guess every mother of 2+ children knows what i am talking about (has nothing to do with c)- the demanding-ness never ever stops. mama! Mama! MAMA! all day (and sometimes nights too). it is tiring me out at the moment. Vega is reaching a high level of toxicity due to the intensity of the treatment right now and she does not sleep well. she has got pain in her legs, tingling and itching and she kicks and tosses and cries for a good few hours every night. and there isn’t really anything i can do. i massage her legs which seems to help for the time i am doing it but as soon as i stop she cries again. and i can not massage her legs all night. worst thing is that nights are generally followed by days (well clearly) and a bad night never really precedes a really good day.

1 thought on “Blood counts

  1. Thinking of you Kathi ‘mama’ – oh the blood count watching – jeez what a pain, but yes sadly think transfusions are on their way. that said wow do they perk you up!

    i was thinking about her legs, sensitivity etc – i know I was so hypersensitive to textures etc, but found i could tolerate soft fleece and felt and that warmth was comforting – so wondered about either soft heat pack in her bed when she is alone, or soft toy or something made from a material she likes, that you could stroke up n down her legs n then maybe she could do herself when you need to be elsewhere??

    i still spend many hours stroking my lower legs when watching TV or at night when i cant sleep – so am thinking of what she could do that feels nice to her to self-soothe? and maybe something that is associated with you (god cant believe I’m even gonna use the term transitional object as all theory makes me wanna puke at the moment, but you know what i mean). maybe little self massage strokey to her favourite disney song?
    am happy to explore ideas with you whenever, if ever you want, though know your creativity is extraordinary. if i haven’t mentioned it before, i also used a cold spray, like the ones you get in the summer to cool your face etc, that helped when i had burning pain.

    will be thinking of you both as you start next weeks regime – love as always xx


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