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"These aren't the droids we're looking for."

Posted Feb 21 2009 11:37pm
2/10/07 Day 31

Those of you who are not fans of Star Wars (the one that came out in 1977) will be confused by the title of today's post. Its a line of dialogue between Alec G uinness and a Stromtrooper looking for C-3PO and R2 D2. It's also an inside joke between me and Ann because of all the gear she has to wear to go out in public now. Dark UV shades for her eyes, a face mask to protect against infection, and hat to prevent sunburn while her skin is artificiallysensitive to light. In short she looks like a Stormtrooper.

Ok on a more serious note, another day down. Nothing special about day 31 other than it's a prime number.

True to form what started out as a supposedly light day at MDA of a blood draw and review (about 2hrs in duration) turned in to a all day affair. The blood work showed that Ann's platelets were dangerously low (14 K/ uL ), which we knew was going to happen because of the last round of chemo. Her magnesium was also very low and her WBC count was down from 6.2 K/ ul two days ago to 0.2 K/ uL today!

As an aside I am glad I went and got checked out yesterday before I saw that number. Basically Ann could catch anything right now and would have zero immune response to it.

So she was whisked off to get a transfusion which ate up pretty much the rest of the day from lunch time to around 5pm. The transfusion doesn't take that long but getting platelets from the blood bank takes time. They need to be match carefully to avoid giving the recipient a bad reaction.

This time Ann had one, not bad, but she complained of itching and felt like she needed to scratch all over. Luckily this passed. I think of it as a preview of GvHD (Graft vs. Host Disease) which Ann is likely to develop in some form or another after a bone marrow transplant.

The worst part about this whole episode with Ann's eyes is that she has finally gotten the energy to walk around and wants to do some exercise. She wants to keep her leg muscles in tone. But now she can't see anything and again has to be pushed around in a wheelchair. It's remarkable that her attitude is still as up-beat as it is.

We have been here long enough to have met some people in the leukemia clinic who have just given up or are very close to it and it is very scary. I think it's all the love of the people who are wishing her well that keeps her focused, positive and motivated to beat this. Please let Ann know you are pulling for her.

Thank you all.

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