Thursday, May 24, 2012

Days +6 and +7: T-Cell Drama

The past two days have been anxiety filled. Instead of decreasing to zero, Ezra's lymphocytes, while still low, were increasing. Not what was supposed to be happening. He should have been at zero by Day +2 and he should have stayed that way. When they looked at his lymphocytes more closely, they were T cells, the type of cell that can cause rejection of the donor cells. With the numbers increasing, the doctors started to get concerned and began running more tests. They even started talking about the transplant failing, one of our worst nightmares. Panic time. The first news to come in today was that the majority of the T cells were Ezra's and not donor cells - that was bad news.  Then they ran a test to see if the T cells were "activated."  Thankfully, late this afternoon, the results came in that the cells are not activated and are basically dead cells. Good news and everyone took a sigh of relief.

His lymphocytes went down a bit today, but they still need to continue to stay down until we know it's time for the new donor cells to appear. So we will be waiting and watching.

We also had a scare when Ezra woke up from his nap yesterday with a huge bruise on his hip that came out of nowhere. A quick CBC showed that his platelets had dropped drastically. Within an hour, we had new platelets from one of Ezra's super donors and the bruise is starting to heal. And today brought signs of mucositis, a common side effect of high dose chemotherapy. Ezra has mouth sores and is gagging on the mucus in his throat. He is still being to be a good sport and trying to eat, but it is painful for him. These issues usually don't resolve until the new cells appear, so we may be facing a couple of weeks of mucositis. On a positive note, the doctors had expected these symptoms to appear last week, so we're one week ahead of the game.

The theme of the week has been space shuttles. Ezra LOVES space shuttles and watches You Tube videos of launches endlessly. During our first miserable weeks here, he wanted nothing to do with space shuttles, but his love for them is back in full force (shout-out to Ezra's girlfriend Shayna and her parents for the awesome new space shuttles). Everyone who walks in the room has to watch a launch. The past few days have certainly felt like a space mission - we are definitely exploring uncharted territory for now.