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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 27 - Homeward Bound

Courtney’s oncologist, Dr. Jordan, visited her this afternoon, bringing with him very good news. Her WBC’s and neutrophils are high enough for her to go home! However, her infectious disease doctor said he wants to see her go 24 hours without a fever before going home. She had a slight fever early this afternoon. So, if she is fever free after today and if she’s feeling up to it, she could feasibly be coming home Saturday!

This news came somewhat as a surprise. While we knew all along that 1000 neutrophils was the benchmark for going home, and while we knew she was rapidly approaching that mark, we were apprehensive to even consider going home so soon thinking there had to be more criteria. Especially considering how bad Courtney had felt so recently. So, with the tremendously great news comes anxious anticipation.

After being so sick for so many days, Courtney is understandably nervous about being away from the hospital and away from most of the people who have done such an amazing job at taking care of her. The wonderful doctors and nurses have essentially been Courtney’s lifeline for the past four weeks, keeping her infections at bay and her pains at a minimum. She fears not having them (and their drugs) around when she might need them. So, while she undoubtedly is looking forward to being in her own home and in her own bed and with her children again, she’s somewhat worried about becoming sick again in the process. We are going to do everything we can between now and then to alleviate her fears by sanitizing the house and making it in tip-top condition for her homecoming.

So here’s the plan:
Tomorrow morning she will have her second bone marrow biopsy. This is a big one, as it will tell us whether or not she’s in remission. We’re hoping the results will be ready tomorrow afternoon. Also, tomorrow, Courtney will have the Hickman catheter removed. Her platelets were above 70,000 today, so the doctors are finally confident about removing it without excessive bleeding.

Thursday, October 25th, Courtney has an appointment at the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic at UT Southwestern in Dallas. They will do an assessment to determine if she is a viable candidate for a transplant. Basically they will perform a thorough evaluation to make sure she can withstand the physical and mental stresses associated with a transplant. It’s a fairly risky procedure that they don’t take lightly.

Monday, October 29th, she will likely be scheduled to return to the hospital and it’s friendly staff for her next round of chemotherapy, called Consolidation. Dr. Jordan said that he’s planning on three rounds. Each round consists of six days of chemotherapy followed by a few days of recovery. He said that the recovery period during the consolidation is different than the induction recovery that she just endured. He didn’t specify the number of days she’d be in the hospital for each round, but it’ll be at least 7 days and likely 10 or more. After each round Courtney would go home for a week.

An important aspect of all this is that neither the consolidation chemotherapy nor the bone marrow transplant will occur if she isn’t in remission. If the bone marrow biopsy shows that she still has leukemic cells, she will more than likely start over with another round of induction (a repeat of the past three weeks). That would be a crummy setback to say the least. So, now you all know what to pray for. Your prayers and support have helped to get us this far! We are along way from the end, so please don't stop now!!


Kristy said...

I really hope Courtney will be able to go home! I know she's nervous, but once she's there, I think she'll feel so great to be in familiar surroundings with family. You are in our prayers constantly!

comical5 said...

We prayed last night that everyone would be well enough to see their Mommy soon. We didn't think that meant you would get to come home. That is such great news. We will pray that everything goes well and you will actually be able to come home this weekend. We know this is just the beginning of a long battle and we want you to know that we will be here for you if there is anything we can do!!
Love, Luna-Llanes family

Molly said...

my fingers are crossed!

Cheryl said...

Hoping all goes well and that you have kicked this into remission. I am so excited about you coming home. We all have really missed you!
Cheryl, Cobi, Preston & Adyson

Amy said...

Hey Lady...
I hope and pray those results come back good and that you are in remission and can come back home.
<3 AMY

Bryner Family said...

Yay! I think everyone was pretty excited to hear that you might be coming home. Not that we can all rush over to your house for a big party but hopefully you'll enjoy being home, like a nice vacation! :) I'm glad we know what to specifically pray for too! Talk to you soon!


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