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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Friday, December 21, 2007

D + 9 - Hanging tough

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been nine days since the transplant. And it’s been three months since the diagnosis! They’ve obviously been the three worst months of our lives, and yet we have many great memories that we will one day cherish…when this is all over. Time is an interesting phenomenon – on the one hand is seems to go by excruciatingly slow, but when it’s in the past you wonder where it’s gone.

During the past five days Courtney has been coping with medication, side effects and neurtropenia (lack of white blood cells, specifically neutrophils). The rash finally subsided after about five days and some disagreement with the doctors as to which medication actually caused the rash. This is important to know, as Courtney would like to do everything possible to avoid it in the future. Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to determine which medication is causing which side effect when they give her five or more at a time. And when ALL the medications list many of the same side effects: headache, nausea, fatigue, rash, dizziness, etc.

Besides having to deal with all of the aforementioned side effects during the past week, Courtney has also head to cope with a sore throat, fevers, and painful tingling in her extremities. The biggest concern for the doctors is the fever. Whenever Courtney’s temperature is above 100.7, they take precautions to rule out infection. These precautions include blood culture (checking for yeast or bacteria), chest x-ray (checking for fluid build up) and changing her antibiotics. So far, everything has tested negative (that’s good). Idiopathic fevers during neutropenia are somewhat common and not too threatening. Things become more disconcerting when the doctors can actually find a source of a fever. Still, we’d rather that Courtney not have fevers at all.

So, after a few weeks with relatively few unpleasantries, Courtney is back to facing the ugly side of cancer and treatment. So far, thankfully, things have not gotten nearly as bad as they did during her first round of chemotherapy in October. We’re still holding out hope that that was the worst of it. Now she’s just fighting through this phase and waiting for her bone marrow to come back from vacation and go back to work. Doctor V said we shouldn’t really expect to see any activity until the 26th or later.

So, ten more days. That’s our goal for Courtney – to be well enough to go home by the 31st. What better way to ring in the new year!


Vicki said...

Todd, I think when this is all over and Courtney is back home, you should hang out your shingle. By now you must know more about leukemia than you ever wanted to. I'm sorry to hear that Courtney is suffering side effects from all the medication she's taking. We'll continue praying that things get better and better for her. I know that this is not the way you two want to spend Christmas. Maybe your big celebration can come on New Years Eve when Courtney goes home. Love, Vicki

Emily said...

Thanks for the update. We hope the worst is behind you. That would be great if Courtney could be home by the 31st! I know it stinks being in the hospital on Christmas, but the 25th is just a day. You can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas 365 days a year! Keep your head up and keep thinking positively!!

Emily, Roberto & kids

Chrissy said...

We are thinking of you and are so glad we were able to visit for a bit before we left for Utah. Courtney is still the cutest cancer patient ever!!! We are excited for you guys to be home together to bring in the new year 2008- cancer free. Merry Christmas!
Chrissy and Dave

Amy said...

merry christmas flynn's...we are thinking of you during this time!


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