Hi everyone, this is Mary Lou, Deb’s Mom. Deb had been recovering well from her stem cell transplant (March 19), with only minor issues over the past few months. By September she felt like she was getting more energy back. Then about three weeks ago she suddenly started feeling very tired again. Blood work showed that her blood counts had dropped significantly in a short time period. Both the Stanford and Kaiser doctors were concerned and asked for repeat blood tests. With each test, the blood levels went lower, and Thursday her hemoglobin reached a level where a red blood cell transfusion was needed. Deb was admitted to the hospital Thursday night (November 13) and received the transfusion yesterday. She will remain in the hospital over the weekend as a platelet transfusion may be required. She was also running a low grade fever which spiked last night, and then went down, so they have added a broad spectrum antibiotic to her IV schedule and are watching her closely for signs of infection, which can be particularly dangerous when blood counts are low.
A bone marrow biopsy is the only way to determine what is causing the blood counts to drop, and that procedure was done last Wednesday. Unfortunately we will not get the results until Monday, so we have a long weekend to wait to know the outcome and what the plan will be going forward. We are praying that it is not a return of the leukemia. There are also other conditions that can cause the blood counts to fall, such as “primitive” donor cells, which are not stem cells, dying off, which can then appear as a drop.
Ironically, a couple of months ago I had planned a trip to CA for my first visit with Deb since returning home after we left Stanford in June. I arrived in CA last week, and while it didn’t turn out to be the fun visit we had hoped for, I am glad that I am here to be with her through this.
Thank you everyone for your support and prayers which mean so much to us.