Sunday, April 17, 2011


That word means having an extremely low neutrophil count in the white blood cells which is definitely not good because those little tiny beggars are the body's heroic infection fighters. They are the immune system. When they drop out of site then extreme precautions must be taken to stay alive and reasonably healthy. Since chemotherapy happens to have as a nasty side effect the ability to wipe out the good cells as well as the bad, that explains why Frank's labs (expecially neutrophils) this week were too low for him to get chemo the third round. That didn't hurt his feelings at all but instead he was given injections (neupogen) two days in a row to help stimulate his body to start making more of them. Those gave him flu-like symptoms--achiness all over, etc., so he might as well have had the chemo for how it made him feel. Anyway, Dr. T has decided to give him the chemo two weeks on and one week off with the neupogen injections starting the day after his second chemo dose. In a couple of weeks he'll find out if the chemo has dropped the bad myeloma count (M-spike) at all. Certainly hope so. He still does remarkably well considering all that's working against him. He's my hero! Kandra drove all the way from Las Vegas on Thursday with her two little boys so she could get to spend some time at home, especially with her dad. Jared will fly here this Thursday and they will spend Easter weekend (and Jared's birthday) in town. Saturday Frank was feeling well enough we drove to the lovely stream and lakes in Greer (founded by his great-great grandfathers) in the White Mountains two hours away to do a little fishing. Gavin had a great time throwing rocks in the water, throwing out the fishline and reeling the bobber back in and having a picnic lunch. It was a beautiful day, one of the best we've had and we were reminded that if the only reason you go fishing is to catch fish, you've missed the point. Frank has meetings in Phoenix this week (Tech Prep [vocational education]) so we all will go down for two or three days and shop or whatever while he is in meetings. Gavin will probably get to stay with his Grandma Owens in Heber since he does better having a whole outdoors to run around in instead of being put on a leash (figuratively) while we're trying to do our thing in the big city. It looks like the funding for Frank's job will end soon and I think he'll actually be kind of relieved not to have to worry about it any more, though we have enjoyed having a little extra income to be able to go on a trip or so a year.


Shawn said...

I am sending prayers your way! I hope you have a fantastic Easter with your family.

The Merrills said...

Nice to see you blogging again

Neutropenia said...

My mother has neutropenia. Very dangerous disease!