Friday, September 11, 2015

Patience With The Process

Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Ruby's numbers were expected to start to go down today. One way is that her white blood cells count should drop as a result of the chemo. We actually want that because it means the cancer cells are going away. (Along with the good ones too, of course.) Another way they drop is hemoglobin (red blood cells) and platelets. These two did drop this morning, so she is about to be hooked up for a transfusion. The platelets will take about 30 minutes to go in and the blood will take about 3 hours. So we will be hooked to tubes again.

Once Ruby gets to a point where she can be at home, we will still go to the clinic for weekly blood tests to stay on top of this. From what we've been told though, the number they watch more closely once she's out is her ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count). This gives the doctors a measure of her body's ability to fight infection. There isn't a magic number it needs to be, but it needs to be trending in the right direction at specific points in her treatment. On the other hand, if it is low, she will have to be hospitalized to keep her protected from contracting something and not being able to fight it off quickly enough.
Ruby is still Ruby Ruby Ruby. A little more fatigued today, but not terribly noticeable. She did have the some of the KSU girls soccer team visit her today, as well as a volunteer who read her 3 or 4 books. And then Carissa brought us lunch and played with her. Before her nap, we toured the garden and fountain again (we do it every morning), and we played peek-a-boo around a column inside the hospital for a good ten minutes, delighting all of the staff that walked by her as she laughed each time she or I scared each other.

So for now, the hope is two long stays (21 days each) up front, then 5-7 days for the remaining each of the remaining four rounds of chemo. It sounds like Ruby will have about a week home between rounds 1 & 2, so that is good news. Ideally, we start a new round every 28 days, but that depends on if her blood counts have recovered enough. If they haven't, we have to wait, and maybe transfuse, before beginning.

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