Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Keeping Well With Low Blood Counts...

Steven continues to feel well, and is eating and drinking. Doug's parents are visiting, and Doug's father brought his golf clubs to Memphis.

Steven felt well enough to go to school at St. Jude today, but on the way to the school started crying and said he didn't want to spend all his free time doing homework. We told him no worries, we wouldn't make him do any homework on his first day of feeling well, and that in general we'd keep it to a minimum.

Steven said he was feeling well and wanted to go play golf after his appointments at the hospital. Doug's dad had taken Sean to play golf yesterday, and he was gung-ho to join them. We said we'd ask the doctor.

Steven's white blood cell count is way down today, down to 200 from a high of 5000 before he started treatment. This is a normal side effect of the chemo. He is now considered neutropenic, which means he is very susceptible to infection.

The doctor said no way for golf. He wants him to stay inside somewhere like Target House, where all the air is HEPA-filtered. Memphis, due to the proximity of the Mississippi River, apparently has lots of fungus in the air. The doctor said he would have to wait probably at least a week or 10 days, and his grandparents will be going home on Sunday, so no golf with Gramps this time. He was crushed.

Steven will be getting a dose of chemo on Thursday, on an outpatient basis this time. They expect his white blood cell count to go to zero after the chemo, then start going up as the bone marrow they gave him engrafts, but that will be at least a week from now.

If he gets any sort of infection at all, he will have a fever and will be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics and observation.

We're praying for no infections or fever.

- Kathleen

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