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

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Cycle 2, Day +12: Mardi Gras and Engraftment

As of Sunday, day +10, Steven's ANC was 600 and as of Tuesday, Day +12, his ANC was 1000. This means his stem cells have engrafted and he is no longer neutropenic and we don't need to take such strict precautions. He still wears a mask in public, but now we can take him along to Sean's school to pick him up, and we've dropped the low-bacteria diet.

Once Steven's ANC gets to 2000, we can stop the daily infusions of GCSF, removing the necessity for daily infusions at the hospital until he begins his next cycle of chemo.

We made our trip to the zoo to see the Komodo dragons feed on dead rats, tossed into their enclosures by the keepers, holding tongs. Watching the keepers at the Memphis zoo interact with the Komodos makes us wonder about the sanity of the zookeeper in Los Angeles who invited Sharon Stone's husband into the Komodo enclosure, then told him to take his shoes off.

The weather was in the sixties on Sunday, and we discovered that we aren't the only people in Memphis who go to the zoo. There were lots of people there for the Komodo feeding, and elswehere in the zoo. The last time we were there it was snowing.

Tuesday the 24th brought a big Mardi Gras party at St. Jude. The kids decorated wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons, and walked the halls throwing beads, coins, and confetti to onlookers in the halls.

The 24th was also Doug's birthday, which we celebrated with a small dinner at home and attending an evening talk given by the St. Jude Behavioral Medicine doctor who worked with Steven on pain management. The doctor spoke with Steven afterward about possibly attempting his lumbar puncture next week without general anesthesia. If Steven is willing to try, we'll give it a go.

- Kathleen

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