Blood Counts Matter

Week 3 of 22.

He’s still my awesome, cool kid who hates having his port accessed. He’s my tired kid who has been up each of the last three nights, either puking, in tears, scared, or a combination. We think it’s him processing/coping with what’s going on, and we do have a plan. Our guy from Child Life is talking to him in a way to show him that he’s not different… He’s the ‘same’ as those in the clinic — ports and all, fighting the same-ish fight. And social work will catch up with us next week to the same vein.

Today was another ‘easy’ day. It was about 5 hours gone from home. One med and done. Next week will be a bear. It’s a 3 med chemo day with lots of hydration and is blood count dependent. I’ve been told it can be a 10-11 hour clinic day.

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Blood counts. Why am I going to share this with you? Well, his blood counts are important every week, whether he needs to make counts or not for the treatment. The Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC – the bottom most number in the chart) is pretty much the MOST important number in all of his bloodwork for us to pay attention to. Neutrophils are the most important white blood cell when we talk about fighting infection. Yours and mine range from 2k-6k. When you hit 500 or less, the chance of infection skyrockets. This week, at 522, he is almost at that critical point. He SHOULD be starting to rebuild his neutrophil count after hitting this low, but it means that for the short-term we unfortunately cannot hang out if you or members of your household are ill, or if you’ve been exposed recently to something highly contagious.

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