Things are going as well as can be expected with Alyssa. The big news is, she does have some white blood cells coming in!! This is the first sign that “something’s cooking in there”. It is still early, and they could drop BUT she’s had cell counts for 2 days in a row now. They also look at her ANC (absolute neutrophil count). That is another way of measuring neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cell. Normal ANC is above 1500. A “safe” number is above 500. Alyssa’s was 60 yesterday, it was only 30 today. But at least there was a count...she had been at zero since transplant day on February 19th. Her ANC needs to be above 500 before she will be allowed to leave her room. We’ve been told that once engraftment really takes hold, that number can jump significantly in just a matter of days.
Alyssa has labs drawn every morning at 4am. They are posted online in her My Chart account around 5:30. So it’s the first thing I look at when I wake up. We have all her lab reports before the doctors even do rounds, which is awesome. The timing of rounds varies betweeen 8:30-11:30 every morning. I would be going crazy if I had to wait that long to find out what her counts were. So for last 2 mornings I’ve been arriving at the hospital with a huge smile on my face. The doctors are a bit more poker faced...they don’t want to get too excited yet since it’s still early, but if I prod them enough, I can get them to admit, that yes, this is all good news.
Her throat pain is getting better, but she is still on her pain pump. She will probably need that into next week. She’s also had some GI issues that are causing her a lot of distress. All normal side effects of the transplant, we are told. They are going to slowly start weaning her off the TPN (IV nutrition). She’s able to swallow liquids and pills, but still doesn’t seem interested in actual food (have no idea what THAT must feel like). She’s awake more now during the day and her physical therapist that comes every day has been awesome about getting her up and doing something. It’s just hard when she is stuck in one small room.
On a side note, we are leaving the hotel today, which has been home for the last 19 days. We get into our Airbnb this afternoon; it will be nice to be able to spread out a bit. The house also has some outdoor space. I’m assuming at some point in the next 3 months, the sun will actually shine again and it will start to warm up.
One thing I have learned over the last few months, is not to get too excited about potential good news. But, it’s hard NOT to be excited when you see the lab reports and for once her body is doing something it’s suppose to be doing to get her healthy. Please continue with prayers and positive vibes, they are helping!