Sunday, April 4, 2010

ANC Zero!

Sunday, last week, was an ordinary day.  We had been enjoying the fact that Sam had been taken off the chemo due to low platelets, but had an ANC of 1200 on Thursday.  He was 'high' and able to do regular things.  We had gone to Casey's (a local restaurant) with a group of friends, stayed up late watching movies and eating take-out, and had welcomed kids into the house once more.  Then, as I put Sam to bed and took his temperature, he showed 100.3!

Now 100.4 is the magic number, so I decided to wait. Aafter all, his ANC was high.  Sam had been in great pain with his lower back earlier that day and we had called CHAM and given Tylenol/Codeine.  But 100.3 was below the "call or else" number so I waited.  About an hour later, I checked again...100.7..."Bother!" I said to myself, or something to that effect, and we called CHAM.  As Brian spoke to the doctor, I was packing for a stay in hospital: my goodness, we know this routine so well. 

By Thursday, we were exhausted.  I had spent all of Sunday night in the ER and Sam was admitted to CHAM 9 by about 7am.  It must have been a busy night as we were put in the treatment room while they got room 915 least it was a single room!  We have had a very different stay this time. Sam was much more upbeat and actually roamed the hallways interacting with the nurses.  He enjoyed the 'Group' meet-up on Wednesday evening, having Chinese food ...eating rice with his much for being careful when neutropenic...and he was...his counts had dropped very low! 

Sam had a good stay...considering, but Brian and I were struggling with conflicting information and an absence of answers.  Dr. Roth and Dr. Gill had announced with great enthusiasm that Sam was to stop the chemo, Doxorubicin, as he had completed the amount allowed (it damages the heart).  Dr. Cole, on the other hand, thought Sam had four more doses to go.  I, being me, spent most of the week chasing all the doctors, nurses and even contemplated asking the cleaning staff to hurry Dr. Cole along with his re-calculations.  Finally we got the news that Sam had indeed completed the does and would be off the hard-core, count dropping medicine.  He starts methotrxate through his port once a week instead..oh goody! 

So we missed vacation week.  What bothered Sam and ourselves the most was the weekend.  Nana's birthday with a Passover gathering with the Janowski/Zweig clan, followed by Easter on Sunday.  Well, small miracles happen and Sam was home for both...his ANC shot up to 350 in a day so they let him come should be 500 but they let him out for good behavior!!!

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