It’s Day +34 in bone marrow transplant land. For updated blood counts, please CLICK HERE.
Kevin had his weekly follow-up at the BMT Clinic in Ottawa yesterday. He was able to get his blood drawn before the appointment and he received his counts during the appointment, just as we requested. =D Yay!
You will notice that Kevin’s blood counts have increased quite significantly. His White Blood Cell (WBC) count and Neutrophil count are now ABOVE the normal range… which sent us into a bit of a panic because an elevated WBC count can also mean relapse. However, we were reassured that the increase is being caused by the high dose Prednisone that he is taking for GvHD. His hemoglobin count and Platelet count are increased as well, which is good because they are now closer to the bottom of the normal range. Again, these counts are not considered “true” counts because of the steroids.
The GvHD of the skin is responding pretty well to the steroid treatment. He still has the rash, but it isn’t quite as bad. His face/head now just look like he has a bad sunburn and not a severe sunburn. The rash has not gotten worse, which is the main concern. However, we will see what happens when they decrease the steroid dosage next week. A human body can only handle 200mg/day of Predinsone for so long and 2 weeks at that high of a dose is pretty intense. The side effects are pretty crazy too, which include anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, some depression, body weakness, excessive thirst and excessive hunger. He is taking other meds to manage stomach upset and seizures. His Tacro level was still low, so that dose was adjusted again.
We have decided to move back to Kingston and commute/stay in Ottawa when we need to. Kevin has insisted that this is the arrangement that is best for his mental health and as much as being 2 hours away from the hospital makes me incredibly paranoid, I agree that it’s best for Kevin under the circumstances. Your mental health is equally, if not more important than your physical health when it comes to BMT recovery. If anything changes that requires medical attention or his temperature rises (we check it a few times daily), we will head back to Ottawa immediately. If he is re-admitted, we will stay at the Rotel or he will be in the hospital. I can also stay with family in Ottawa if I need to. If we lived ANY further, I wouldn’t be okay with it and the doctors did agree that we should have a sufficient amount of time to get Kevin to the hospital even if a complication arises.
The home care nurse came today to check his vitals and change his Hickman dressing. He was a little sad that he didn’t get the same nurse he had before, Lynn. She was so awesome, but she probably doesn’t have the Hickman certification. His new nurse is great too. His vitals were good, but she was concerned about his anxiety being on such a high dose of steroids. We will see what happens when they lower the dose next week. Hopefully it will help. He already takes Ativan to help his anxiety. The last thing he needs is another pill to take.
I still think he is doing AWESOME considering everything he is going through. It takes great strength to keep going after you have been to the brink of death. Great strength and an indomitable will to live. The key is to keep focusing on the positive outcomes, the blessings and the humor. Always.
Thanks for stopping by!