Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ahhh... a little breathing room between chemo treatments!

Today was Ashley's bloodwork appt. It was all good meaning her counts are climbing, however her ANC (the one that fights infection) is climbing but still low at 255. Anything below 200 and she gets a fever means we have 1 hour to get to Childrens. Anything above 500 and we can go in public (and Musashi can come home). We're really happy about those counts. We avoided a blood transfusion this round... YAHOO! We can begin her next Chemo round as soon as that ANC is above 1000. Which will likely be by Friday, however we were given the option of waiting until next Wed. We took it. We're pretty certain she'll be admitted next Wed 6/25/08 for chemo round 2. Its an overnight stay and then we come back for more Chemo into her IV port on Friday afternoon. I'm certain the vomiting will start sometime Wed evening and continue for 10 days. Just like last time. But this time we have our own private nurse coming to the house 2 times a day for anti vomiting meds and IV fluids to avoid dehydration. Another YAHOO! This means no driving to the ER with a vomiting baby.

Do you want some REALLY GREAT, REALLY AWESOME, REALLY AMAZING news? Her AFP levels - this is the blood marker that shows up when someone has Hepatoblastoma. Normal is under around 10. Ashley's began around 85,000 in May before Liver resection then plummeted to 9,860 on 5/28 after resection and before Chemo round 1. Her level now is...DRUMM ROLL.... 393. Yep thats right, 393! YAHOO!

So not only is her immune system coming back but we get a private nurse to come to our house and her AFP cancer marker is dropping dramatically. I read somewhere that one of the predictors of success for a cure in this cancer is a rapid decline in AFP's. That's us, thats our fighting Ashley. What a Champ! Typically AFP's decline at a rate of about 50% every 7 days. That would mean hers should be around 1,230. But she OVERPERFORMS and comes in at 393. Now that is AMAZING news!

So no blood work appointment this Friday. We don't go to Childrens until next Tuesday 6/24. They'll do blood work. Then on Wed 6/25 we will probably be admitted for Chemo round 2. We are very set on food and snack packs now. Thank you so much mom's group. Your food drop off's have helped more than you'll ever know.

We are finally figuring things our at Childrens and are figuring out how to manage Ashley through all these blood draws (put her in the Ergo Baby carrier, bring the portable DVD player). Its not so daunting anymore. -April


Crystal said...

Thank you so much for sharing the great news. We were wondering about you today at Asher's birthday party. This is great to hear, and we're very prout of your little champ!

karen said...

What great news and an answer to prayer. I am so happy for you. I know it takes time to post but it is nice to know how you are all holding up. I especially enjoy the pics. How about one of you, April and Whitney? Tony and Ashley look happy in their picture.
Is she getting more of an appetite now?
Take care. Karen

Susan said...

We're so happy to hear the excellent news about Ashley!! She is a fighter, no a warrior, in this battle against cancer. We're so proud of her and how you all are handling this daunting challenge. All our love, Susan, Kestutis and Simon.

Mako said...

Yahoo! You go girl! Thanks so much for the great news. I continue to think of you guys daily...hourly. Know that you are always in our thoughts. Ashley, you are so amazing. To think of what you are accomplishing at age 1, I can't wait to see what you can do at 20, 50, heck, 100!

Andrea said...

That is great news! Ashley is amazing & she just proves it over & over again! You all are doing amazing. Hope you have an uneventful rest of the week. Thank you for keeping us posted. I too was wondering how today went.