On Monday, we began our second round of chemo for Sophie. We’ve had a couple of weeks of ups and downs preceding this new round. As we mentioned in our previous post, we were admitted onto M9 (the inpatient side of the hospital) at the very onset of Sophie’s neutropenic phase. (This is when her white blood counts are basically nonexistent, thereby preventing her body from being able to fight off any infection.) We knew this guaranteed us an extended stay in the hospital until her body had time to recover and counts came back up. We were discharged almost one week after being admitted, with the caveat that since Sophie’s counts were still low (but starting to improve), that we could return home but would need to come in for numerous count checks over the course of the following week to ensure her numbers were continuing to rise.
Last week, we were able to have some nice time at home with visits from Sophie’s teachers and therapists, interspersed with our check-ins at the hospital. On Friday of last week (just before Passover), we came in for a routine blood check, only to find out that Sophie would need a platelet transfusion (her second of the cycle) before the weekend. Unfortunately, these transfusions take quite a number of hours, between the pre-blood work, constant vital sign checking, and post-transfusion monitoring. We are so fortunate to have local family who really enabled us to basically “show up” right before the holiday began, without so much as lifting a finger to help prepare.
During Friday’s visit, the team also informed us that due to Sophie’s extended low platelet count, the likelihood of Sophie receiving her scheduled chemo this week was extremely low, and we would most likely need to postpone treatment until next week. However, we were told to come in Monday for a blood check anyway to ensure the numbers were trending in the right direction. Much to everyone’s surprise (most notably our doctor and nurse!), Sophie’s counts rose exponentially more than anyone expected, and our team made the decision to start her 2nd round of chemotherapy Monday. Like last time, chemo will last for 5 full days, with the same side effects expected. We are happy that we are able to stay on track for cycle 2, which enables us to move forward with the plan our doctors have agreed upon.
We want to thank everyone who offered, attempted, and donated either blood or platelets for Sophie’s first cycle. This chemo regimen is known to often cause low blood counts in patients, and it is vitally important for them to receive sometimes multiple transfusions in order to recover. Sophie in particular required 3 transfusions for the previous cycle, all of which were “direct donations” by friends, family, and strangers. These acts of generosity definitely did not go unnoticed by us or our medical team, so much so that each nurse who gave Sophie a transfusion marveled at the amazing support rallying around Sophie during this difficult time.