While we are totally thrilled to be home and have good news, in this season there is always a bit of a “catch”. Lately Joe’s blood counts (white blood, platelets and hemoglobin) have been dropping. This is really frustrating because we assume with good news that things would be increasing and getting better. There can be a few reasons for this drop. The doctors think that most likely it could be due to the engraftment jump. Often times when the new immune system is coming in the old cells die off and there can be a dip in the numbers. Also, two of his medications can in some cases do damage to the cells, so they removed those for a while. We will be keeping a close eye on his counts and he will possibly get a transfusion to boost his hemoglobin and platelets. Then hopefully we will see an increase over the next few weeks. If not they will do a repeat biopsy and see if there are any changes.
The doctors have told us that they feel confident that the numbers will rebound and that they are really pleased with how Joe is doing. This is something they often see. They refer to the first year as the dynamic year because numbers are all over the place. However, they wanted us to feel confident that they are watching this closely and they recognize that seeing the numbers drop is worrisome to us. We would like to think that from this point on it would be smooth sailing, but I guess that’s just not how life goes.
I so badly wish that we could wash our hands of this season and forget that it ever happened, but this will forever be part of our story. I have a new place in my heart that has been carved out by cancer, both from my dad and my husband. I have new eyes for this type of suffering. God has given me this story if for nothing else but to love caregivers and families suffering through cancer. This cancer family is one I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but it’s here and it’s ours.
Please be praying with us over the next few weeks that we would see those numbers jump up. We will also need prayers as we move into summer. Arleigh will be done with school next week and while we are all excited for fun summer memories, I am a bit nervous about the balancing act that will be required of me.