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A Boost

Amy was feeling extremely weak yesterday, one might almost say anemic.  We went into the hospital for her bloodwork armed with plenty of reading and listening material, expecting that she would need a blood transfusion.  Her hermatocrit count had actually gone up, from 26% to 28%, since she'd been in the hospital, and so a transfusion was deemed unnecessary.  We were, somewhat surprisingly, a little disappointed, as we'd hoped that low red blood cell counts were responsible for her weakness and fatigue, and that fresh blood from a transfusion, even with its inherent risks, would help her rebound.

Her white blood cell counts were still low, but also holding fairly steady (1.5 thousand per microliter, where they were on Monday), so she was given another G-CSF injection to boost those, and an injection of Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa) to boost the red blood cell counts.  To help with the fatigue, her chemical oncologist gave her some coritcosteroids -- two dexamethasone tablets, one for yesterday and one for today -- to get her through what we hope will be the worst period of weakness and fatigue.

The first tablet seemed to have induced a positive effect, as by evening, she felt well enough to join us at the dinner table -- for the first time in a several weeks -- to enjoy a meal brought by one of our neighborhood friends ... a nice way to celebrate her birthday.  She also enjoyed the many cards and gifts she received from family and friends (in fact, she received so many that I think our daughter might have been a little jealous).

We've been through too many ups and downs to feel comfortable making any predictions, but we remain optimistic that the worst is -- or will soon be -- over.

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