Friday, August 1, 2014

A Feverish Update

After Jon posted the last blog update, we all got some much needed rest after such a long night and day of worry and a visit to the hospital.

Max and I napped for a couple hours and when we woke up, his forehead felt drastically cooler. We took his temperature and it was perfect: 98.6.  We've taken his temperature several times and each time it's been in the 98 range which is exactly where we want it. His mood has improved and he is back to his normal, happy self.

About an hour ago, we got the results back from his lab work. Regular readers of our blog know about our struggle with his white blood counts over the last few months. We've had to pause three medications and his numbers are generally in the mid 2,000s to low 3,000s (average is around 7,000 for normal people, we were aiming for 5,000). We got the results of his counts back and they're at . . .


I believe my exact reaction when she told me was, "HOLY CRAP!"

Our transplant coordinator said this is probably the result of three things:

1. The medications we paused have had more time to cycle out of his system which would allow for more production of white blood cells.

2. Max let us feel his gums with a (gloved) finger last night and we felt the start of a tooth breaking through on the upper left. Since the body reads a tooth breaking through as an "injury," it can cause a fever and an increase in white blood cells.

3. He's probably been fighting off a mild viral infection which caused his body to produce more white blood cells.

This is a really good sign that his body is able to produce the white blood cells in order to fight off an infection--although how the hell he got an infection is beyond us. We live in a Lysol can.

This also means that we don't have to check him into the hospital to provide him with an immune system, his is doing its job. This is a double edged sword though because his counts are currently higher to deal with this infection but now we're just hoping that once the infection is gone, those white blood cells don't look at his heart and go, "Wait a minute . . . you're different . . . I should probably bounce you from this body."

So where are we at now?

We're still very much on lockdown. Our transplant coordinator warned us that we're not out of the woods just because his fever broke. That fever, even if it's no longer an active symptom, can be just the warning sign of other symptoms that might show up while this viral infection runs its course. We're going to have to continue to closely monitor Max and if anything arises, we'll be back on the phone with the transplant team to do this all over again.

His blood counts are up but we have to be aware because higher counts equal a greater chance of rejection. Plus, he's still very susceptible to the infections that his paused medications help prevent. Now that his counts are up, we'll most likely be able to start them again (probably after his biopsy later this month) but that could make his counts plummet again. It's like riding a not very fun seesaw.

It's okay, Keanu. We understand.

To summarize . . . our immediate situation is better because the fever has broken but we have to watch him closely while this infection works its way out of his system. Our house arrest is also going to continue for three reasons:

1. He's still fighting off whatever mutant, freakish thing he manage to contract despite our Purell baths.

2. We don't know how long this huge spike in blood counts is going to last and we don't want to risk exposing him to anything else, especially so close to the biopsy.

3. He hasn't been able to get any of his vaccines yet but that will change after his biopsy.

Long term, we need to keep an eye out for further symptoms and hope we don't see anything indicative of rejection. We'll get answers about rejection after his biopsy later this month so fingers crossed for now.

It's an uphill journey but we're taking baby steps towards progress!

If you recognize this movie, we're obviously meant to be friends.

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