Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Day +18 ANC

Jacob now has enough white blood cells to start calculating his ANC. A normal ANC is 2000-3000; however, since Jacob received chemotherapy and radiation, his ANC will most likely not reach normal until maybe a year from now. The goal is for him to get over 500. Right now he is at 210, same as yesterday. The ANC is a calculation of Jacob's white blood cell count (WBC), Polys, and Bands, (all components of the immune system) so it shows an overall reflection of how Jacob's immune system is doing. So each day when I get here in the morning, I like to find out what Jacob's ANC is to get an idea of how his immune system is progressing. Once Jacob goes over 500, hopefully by next week, he will be tested to see which bone marrow is growing- the donor's or his old marrow. We hope that it will be the donor's.

Jacob's WBC is .58 and the normal count is 3.5-10.9. White blood cells protect the body from bacteria, viruses, and fungi and help to strengthen the immune system. They go after the germs and eat them up!

Jacob's hair has been thinning since last Friday. I asked if we could shave his head to keep him from getting hair in his eyes, nose, and mouth, and all over his clothes and bed, but they said it would be too dangerous. Because Jacob's immune system is so weak, even the smallest little nick could cause a serious infection, so it is not worth the risk.

Jacob still has no appetite and has developed really bad incontinence. His bottom is so sore that last night the nurse had to give him morphine just to wipe.

Other updates:

Jacob's mouth looks good- no sores.

The past couple of days he's been rashy all over the upper half of his body. Could be graft versus host, could just be the engraftment taking place, the doctors are thinking the latter. Yesterday we treated him with Benadryl. I don't know what they will decide today.

The sinus culture from last week came back negative for the viruses they tested. Not to say that it isn't a virus, but it's not the serious ones that they test for here. Thankfully, adenovirus had not moved to his respiratory system.

Jacob is passed the risk period for VOD, and so no longer has to take his daily oral med, so the doctors decided to wait on the NG tube.

So, in order to go home, Jacob has to switch from his IV meds to all oral, start eating again, and have an ANC over 500. This is all still going to take some time, but I'm glad that he is progressing in the right direction.

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