Monday, October 12, 2009

What a Difference a Week Can Make!

In a week's time, a lot can change.

It's as true for color-changing trees as it is for stem cell transplant recovery. (I took these two photos a week apart and the color-change is almost complete.)

Today is Gil's Day +5.

He is told by his team that he is doing remarkably well. His counts are low (as expected) but the most important measure we are watching is his neutrophil count which is .7 today. The team likes to see the neutrophil count above .5 which they feel is the lowest protective level for fighting off infection. The level may or may not go down further.

It's all up to Genie's stem cells now.

Gil will start getting Neupogen tomorrow to boost the recovery of the neutrophils. His own stem cells used to respond quickly to the added Neupogen by increasing in count after just a few days. But since all of his stem cells were destroyed, we are in a completely new ball game.

Since the transplant, they will be boosting the neutrophils being manufactured by Genie's stem cells and we don't know how her stem cells will respond to Neupogen.

Genie has been back in California for two days now and she reports she is feeling fine. "Just happy to have been of service," she says humbly.

Marika is driving back to Santa Barbara this morning after a most satisfying Raff Kids' Reunion in LA with her brothers. (How smart of her to select an academic schedule this quarter that holds no classes on Fridays or again until Monday at noon! Better for those 3-day weekends!)

I'm headed to a nursing job fair at a local university where 30 nurse recruiters will be assembled from all the local, available healthcare facilities. I'm testing the market to see what opportunities might be available in healthcare in Michigan's bad economy. The Michigan winter is a long one and I'm going need something to do. (Can't lavish all my attention on Gil!)


Waiting is so hard
Feeling good ... but what's ahead?
No surprises please.

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