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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Days 17 and 18 Consolidation – More long days at the BMT clinic

It’s amazing what a difference a day makes. Yesterday Courtney was feeling much better, with virtually no headaches or nausea. The day started off with a fairly quick and painless visit to a respiratory therapist who performed the PFT (pulmonary function test). Courtney didn’t rank up at the top, but we think she passed. Then, after a quick breakfast at Wendy’s, we headed to the BMT clinic. They were really nice and let us come in two hours before our scheduled appointment. She had her blood drawn and then we waited for about three hours. The wait was for the Procrit shot and platelets. The platelets eventually arrived, but the Procrit didn’t. Apparently it’s a somewhat complicated and potentially lengthy process for the insurance company to pre-approve the Procrit due to it’s expense. She didn’t get it today either.

CBC results for the past two days:



Normal Range




4.1 – 11.1




4.01 – 5.31




12.1 – 16.1




140 – 440




2.0 – 7.5

So, what do these results tell us? That Neulasta really works. On the 5th, Courtney received an injection of Neulasta that’s supposed to help increase her Neutrophils before her bone marrow is fully functioning again. This is to help avoid the potentially dangerous neutropenic fever. So, in a way, her WBC and neutrophil counts are artificial. The hope is that by the time they drop down, her bone marrow will be back to running normal and her counts will stabilize. Apparently this is the same thing Procrit is supposed to do, except for her RBC’s. At least she can have those infused. Which she did today.

The other thing we learned from the CBC today is that she received a really good dose of platelets yesterday. Usually we see an increase of about 15 to 20 when she receives a bag of platelets. After receiving a bag on Sunday, her count was only 4 on Tuesday (not so good). Then Tuesday’s bag increased her platelets from 4 to 15. And finally yesterday, she got her bag of super platelets and her count increased to 74! So, hopefully she’s good to go for a few days.

It seems like today we got twice as much done in half the amount of time compared to the previous two days. Courtney received two units of blood, had a nice long visit from the Social Worker, and had her bone marrow aspirated. All in a day’s work.

The social worker was nice and asked Courtney a lot of personal questions. Apparently social workers get paid to be nosy and pry. Courtney was very honest and open with him, and he really seemed impressed by her attitude and demeanor considering what she’s been through, is going through and is about to go through. It’s likely she’ll be getting a “go for transplant” from him.

Right after his visit, she was taken to another room where some nice people, including a nice man with a very good drug called versed, painfully extracted some more of Courtney’s bone marrow from her hip. While the versed didn’t knock her out or take all of the discomfort away, it did help her to relax and not care so much about what they were doing. She said she’s going to ask for a little more next time. The unfortunate part is there WILL be a next time and possibly MANY more next times. : (

So, after three fairly long days at the clinic, we aren’t scheduled to go back again until Monday, and that should only be for a blood check and maybe blood and/or platelets depending on the results. We’re looking forward to having a nice three day break from doctor stuff and to having a nice relaxing weekend at home. We have 19 more days to enjoy at home until Courtney’s admitted for the transplant. But who’s counting?

One more thing – I looked up Procrit at They sell it for $5099.63 for 18 ml. It always cracks me up when they price it a few cents under an even hundred. As if $5099 looks so much more affordable than $5100. Just for comparison, a can of Coke is about 354 ml. At that price Procrit costs $1,072,206.39/gal. Although they would probably sell it to you for $1,072,199.63/gal. No wonder the insurance company is stalling!


Anonymous said...

Hang in there! We are thinking of you. Miss you. L, Danyella

Chrissy said...

SO nice to visit with you at the BMC. Courney has got to be the cutest cancer patient in history. Thank you so much for the visit- we are thinking of you and praying for you.

Emily R said...

i am laughing that you can have such a sense of humor about the expense!!! hope you are feeling ok!!! always praying for yoU!

Amy said...

wow...when you break it down like that:) enjoy your weekend of rest. hugs

Nicole said...

Todd and family - Despite your battle, I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and keep Courtney healthy during this "germy" time of year!

Nicole George


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