Nicholas finished treatment on 11/18/2010. He will continue to go for blood work for the next 3 years. He is still in remission.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Trip to the Hospital

Hi everyone, this is Aunt Christa. Just a quick update and a little information. Nick and Karen went to the hospital today because Nick had a fever and was Neutropenic. From reading other blogs about kids going through the same thing, I found a little information to pass on about the ANC count and what it means to be neutropenic. What is ANC? It stands for Absolute Neutrophil Count. It is not a White Blood Cell count, but is the concentration of neutrophils in the while blood cell count. ANC equals the Total WBC count multiplied by the total percentage of neutrophils (segs plus bands). So you can have a high White Blood Cell count, but a low ANC, it's rare but it is possible. Nick's Chemotherapy is immuno-suppressive, The 6MP and Methotrexate lower the immune system by suppressing the bone marrow from making things such as White Blood Cells. When any of us gets a virus or bacterial infection, our ANC gets lower, but if you are on Chemo it can drop to dangerous levels, aka Neutropenia. That is what can happen to Nick. The BIG worry in all of this is if he were to get something like Strep or something bacterial, and if his anc were lower than 500, you can have real issues, including a risk of death. That's why he needs to be in a ER with a fever, when he is neutropenic, so they can start IV anti-biotics immediately. ANC fluctuates a lot because they are constantly trying to control it's range with the chemo, while dealing with external forces such as virus. ANC is the main diagnostic value for Lymphomas and many types of Leukemia.
Keep your prayers going for Nick. He had a blood transfusion and is feeling a lot better this evening. He even managed to get on toontown and play with cousin Joey for a while.
Aunt Christa

1 comment:

Chris Pepper said...

Hi Shannon Family. Sorry to read Nick is neutropenic, and that is definitely a scary thing to deal with in Chemo. I also know first hand how hard it is to watch a child get to these levels in their blood. I am glad you have found Emily's blog and I hope it helps you see that things DO get better. The first 9 months of chemo are rough, but once Nick gets through reconsolidation and goes into maintenance you will be suprised how much life will get back to normal. Hang in there and please email me if you want to ask questions or need support, from a parent who is dealing with this too. I have a co-worker who's son just ended Chemo for ALL and he is doing great, he has been so helpful to me, and I hope I can help you. Go NICK! (serious please email me chris_pepper@yahoo.com )