Friday, May 22, 2009

Making Progress

I don't know if there really is such a thing as a "good" clinic day. Nothing about going to clinic is good to Amanda. Watching other healthy kids ride their scooters to school on our way down to Primary's doesn't make it much of a good day for me either. But, we are adjusting to the new routine, we enjoy the great staff at Primary's, and she didn't have to be sedated today which meant she was able to eat before we went. Eating made a BIG difference towards a more pleasant Amanda. She's making progress with handling the anticipation of treatment days and is less frightened as she realizes that the whole process requires virtually no pain. And today's nurse seemed to know what she was doing, which helped.

More importantly, she is making progress medically. The doctor told us that when she was first diagnosed with cancer, her bone marrow was 87% leukemia cells. By day 29 of her treatment the target is to get her to 5%. We are 22 days in and her bone marrow biopsy from last week shows 4%. We are amazed at this great response. Additionally, as of today she is no longer neutropenic. In fact, her blood counts today showed her with a stronger immune system than when she entered the hospital. It is still a very poor immune system that continues to require a lot of caution. But this shows that her own blood cells are functioning better now that they are not as crowed by the cancer. This is what we want.

We can say that it has been two steps forward, one step back. She's getting better medically, but her medication side effects are getting worse. She is struggling to walk, has gained an insane amount of weight that her muscles can barely handle, is starting to have more nerve and joint pain, and she's still very lethargic most the day. Oh and we cannot forget extreme anger and mood problems (Scott has labeled them "roid rage"). But, these are all common side effects. If all continues to go well she will begin a different treatment regiment in June and many of these side effects will decline.


  1. I love reading the updates. All of you are in my prayers daily.
    Your Aunt Diane

  2. Glad to know things are progressing. We love you!!!!!!

  3. Amanda's progress is good news! I'm so glad to hear that her immune system is getting stronger. I'm sorry the medication symptoms are getting worse. Overall, I'm glad this treatment day was better. I was thinking of you all yesterday. Love you!