The other day Rachana and I were talking about how the medical field is mostly against usual conventions. Receiving a negative result is welcomed. You never want to hear a Dr. say ‘See you soon’. A hospital is a business that thrives when it does not have repeat customers.
So, the spinal fluid results are back and there is no evidence of leukemia in her spinal column. High Five!
It seems in the old days, evidence of leukemia in the spinal column would have resulted in a very bad prognosis, but today it basically means multiple doses of chemo right into the spinal column. Since Rachana does not show any evidence she will only receive two more injections in the spine, one tomorrow and another on day 28.
Rachana can now pretty accurately guess her hemoglobin drop. This morning’s (Apr 5) walk was short as she was tired and said ‘My hemoglobin has dropped’. We asked the nurse and sure enough, it dropped from 9 to 7. In fact all counts are dropping. Her ANC count is now under 500 (1500 to 8000 is normal) so she can catch any infection very very easily. Beyond the daily bath she now has to do a special wipe that puts a layer of anti-something on her to protect from infections.
Tomorrow is chemo day and she might also get some platelet transfusion which is now at 16k (150k is normal). The doctors are calling it a normal course of events; they say things will get worse before they get better. Today definitely was not as good as yesterday. Generally she is pretty tired, sleepy, achy, etc till around 2pm. She’s at her best from 5 to 9pm.
This evening they cleaned and changed the dressing on the PICC line which is used to give all IVs drugs including chemo. This one has three openings, I think one for chemo, one for other drugs and one to draw blood. The other end of this line goes into a large vein close to the heart. So when she has nausea or a reaction, for immediate effect, they just inject it through the IV – and the crazy thing is Rachana can smell and taste most of the drugs. It’s crazy how the body works.