Thursday, June 19, 2008

Father Knows Best

Well, we didn't end up getting readmitted today. I got a call last night that the doctor wanted to wait until Monday before starting Ethan's chemo again. They want him to have a few days to allow his immune system to bounce back. They measure your immune system by blood work and the results are called "ANC". Based on all the various blood tests and differentials, they can determine how weak or how strong your immune system is (in other words, determine your ANC). You generally want to be above 1000 in number. Between 500 and 1000 puts you at risk of infection, and anything below 500 means your immune system is unable to fight off infection by itself. Chemo always makes your immune system weaker, so you don't want to start a new chemo treatment with an immune system that's already weakened. Ethan's immune system is at 84 right now. I know that appears to be really awful, but it's not unusual for chemo patients to have an immune system level (ANC) of even zero from time to time. When the levels are that low, you just have to be extra careful that germs and such are kept away from him. Anyway, just a little "lesson" in how they determine all of this information. Needless to say, you can see why they want to wait a few days before starting the chemo. I'm happy to have the weekend at home, but this also means that Ethan will not be on any form of medication for the next 4 days (his "at home" medication stopped as of last night). Please be in prayer that his immune system rebounds quickly (no reason to expect that it wouldn't) and be in prayer that his red cells and platelets stay at the level they are at, or even higher. We just don't want any progress he's made thus far to take any steps backwards during the next 4 days before we start chemo again. But, it's funny, because I was wanting him to have a little break in between medications anyway, but was told we should just move forward... until the doctor reconsidered this evening and moved our admittance date to Monday. So, it looks like the Lord worked it out they way He wanted.... hence the "Father knows best".

Please also say a prayer for his central line (the tube in his chest). It has a large scab over the stitches in which the tube comes out of the skin, and the medicine "patch" (round spongy thing that goes over the scab to try and loosen it) has stuck to the scab and will not come off. I did the best I could last night at trying to remove it without pulling away the large scab (which would cause a tremendous amount of blood, pain for Ethan, and potential infection), and then bandaged him up, but I'm calling the outpatient area this morning to find out what needs to be done about removing the rest of the sponge-like patch. As many times as we've changed his bandage, this is the first time we've not been able to remove the patch completely and it's VERY stuck to his insertion point. This is not good, so I'm hoping something can be done without causing any type of infection in the area. As I've mentioned before, this central line/tube, is how he gets his blood transfusions, chemo, antibiotics... everything. Essentially and literally, his "life line". So as you can imagine, this is heavy on my mind right now.

I have much more that I want to say... more that the Lord has put on my heart in general... but I'll save it for tomorrow. Thank you for praying.

Quote for the Day - When you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, turn to the Light of the world.

John 8:12 - Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


april r said...

You sure do have a lot on your plate today. I'll keep you and Ethan in prayer throughout the day.

Jennifer Wiser said...

Hey Kasey,

Praying today for counts to rebound well enough that chemo is not any more detrimental than it has to be and that counts stay in a decent range. Also, know exactly what you are talking about with the scab over the central line b/c Alex had that as well in the beginning. I found those little circle patch things to actually be worse for dressing changes and caused scabbing more than just leaving it off - but I know that each hospital has different protocols for the dressings. We always also had a visiting nurse who came in and was able to change the dressings much more adequately than I could. I did have to occasionally, but was always a little "stressed" during the time. I felt better having a nurse look at the site and change the dressing. Maybe this would help you too. You know where to email me or call me if you need or want to talk. I can relate to each experience and you are heavy on my heart today.
Sending you love and hugs,

Hollie said...

Praying hard!

Mrs. MK said...

Extra prayers for you today!!

kimweber said...

Will be prayer extra hard tonight and over the weekend.
Turn all of your cares to your Father, and let HIM keep them!
Praying always,