Three-year-old Faye was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on April 11, 2011. After 135 days in the hospital, Faye was able to spend 3 years at home. On September 5th 2014 she was told that she had relapsed. She was able to achieve a second remission and had a bone marrow transplant on Oct 17th 2014.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Let's get some ANC!

We've gotten a lot of questions about when Faye will be able to go home and why she hasn't been able to yet if her chemo ended so many days ago.  The chemo essentially wipes out her immunity and drastically lowers her white blood cell count.  On top of that she regularly needs blood and platelet transfusions. The thing to track is her ANC.  When her counts begin to recover and are on an upward trend they will let her blow this popsicle stand.  Below is an explanation of what ANC is and how it is calculated: 

"The ANC is a way for doctors to scientifically determine the stage that the immune system is in after response to chemotherapy.  ANC is the real or actual number of white blood cells that a patient has to fight an infection. White blood cells are the part of the patients blood that work against possible bacteria, fungus, or viruses that may make the patient sick. A normal ANC is greater than 1,500. A safe ANC is greater than 1,000. After chemotherapy a patient's ANC may drop low as 0. When the ANC drops below 500 , it is important that patient's remain away from crowds and people who have colds, flu, or runny noses. If a patient is in the hospital with ANC below 500, he will be placed in protective isolation. This is to protect the patient from being exposed to possible infections.
Doctors are able to determine the ANC by using the CBC (Complete Blood Count) results drawn from a patient’s blood labs. In determining the ANC, the “WBC or White Blood Cell Count, ” Neuts or Segs”, and “Bands” should be identified from the lab printout."

I will spare everyone the formula to calculate the ANC because doing math was bad enough in school.  No need to relive those bad memories.  As of this morning her counts look like this:
White cells: 0.53
Segs: 3.4
Bands: 0.0
Hemoglobin: 9.8
Platelets: 62
ANC: 20

Before today her ANC had been zero for 17 days.  Hopefully within a week it will climb and get us out of here.  And now onto to the visuals.
Faye got the nurses in on her Hat wearing!  Faye wanted them all to be cowboys! 
 When Grandma Mary Ann came she brought some corn from Grandpas garden on the plane with her (who knew you could do that?).  Anyways, she left some for Faye. We cooked it in the microwave...turned out pretty good!  Of course we didn't have any corn holders so we had to improvise, the knifes worked out great!
Sometimes I will get Faye peas at the hospital.  She doesn't eat them and I say "Faye you like peas" and she replies with "I only like peas from Grandpas garden."

Once a week all of the tubing has to be changed!  Faye has taken on the task of helping the nurse change it!  This last week when the nurse was doing it Faye asked if she could help.  So the nurse said sure and gave Faye the old tubing, so they could throw it away!
 Loading up all Nixon's milk!  Just because she is in the hospital doesn't mean she doesn't have to earn her keep!
 On Saturday, Mitchell, Nixon, my Mom and I went down to the Hospital!  My mom was nice enough to stay with Faye while The Boys and I went to an Astros game.  Faye was just as excited to hang out with Grandma as Mitchell was to go to the game!
Of course before going dad had to get in his teasing time!
 And play a little catch the ring on Faye's Legs! 
(This picture cracks me up Nick with his tongue out, and Faye closing her eyes...serious concentration going on here!)

Nicks sister Katie told us about Kid History.  You should check it out, it's hilarious. My mom took a picture of us watching it!  Everything is much better watching it with Nick.  He has this contagious laugh, that when he thinks something is funny you cant help but laugh!
One day when the doctors came in Faye was playing Doctor with Dad. She was bandaging him up and asking him if she could listen to him, so the Doctors went and got Faye her own stethoscope and flashlight.  It's hilarious to see her "listen to people".  She asks them to take deep breaths while listening to their lungs, heart, and stomach.  Then puts the stethoscope around her neck and grabs her flashlight to look in your mouth!  She has got it figured out! 
 At the game.  The Hess Corporation sponsored the event for the patients of the cancer center and their families.  It was a great time and very generous of them.  It would have been even better with Faye but we were grateful that grandma could hang with Faye for a couple hours so we could spend a little time with each other outside of the hospital.
There was a giant screen right behind us and as you can see Nixon was mesmerized!
 The boys loved it!
 Typical Nick picture!
So there you go, we have been having a great time!  Getting excited to all be home! 


Tracy said...

Love Nixon's face with Nick cracking up! He is wondering what is wrong with Dad? Kid History is genius! Can't forget a Go Faye!!!

Katie Ellis said...

Nixon is getting too big! Looks like you guys are having fun--I'll bet everything is funner when you know you're almost out of there! Keep fighting or I'm going to punch you in the face like I always keep on doing (but only if you don't have a bike to defend yourself).

Cute Carbines said...

Nick is the total kid history type. I also love Nixons face in that picture. Super CUTE! I also love Fayes smile in the picture where Nick is tickling Mitchell. SOOO CUTE!!!

The Nelsons said...

Awesome pics! They make me miss you guys. Seriously! I'm so glad you guys are having some fun times. Keep em comin! Catch the ring on Faye's leg is hilarious. And I'm so glad you all watched Kid History together. There's not many things in this world that makes you laugh that much. Love you guys!!

Lori said...

So glad her ANC has shown up... let's hope it continues on an upward trend!

Perhaps Faye's time in the hospital will spark an interest in a medical career path????

Nixon is getting way too big! I miss that baby and Mitchell and Faye and of course you and Nick.

Brett Roberts said...

This is Brett from Kid History. We'd love to meet Faye the next time you're in Utah if she would like that. Tell Faye I said "hi" and to send us a note at the next time you're going to be in Utah so we can say "hi" in person.

Lark (SparkyLarky)@ Lark's Country Heart said...

Looks like great things are happening! (WAHOO!)

Love all the smile's and laugh's in the pictures! I wish I could "hear" Nick's laugh!

dara said...

I love the picture of y'all watching Kid History, I think that's what we looked like when we were watching it too, there might have been some tears from laughing so hard. I can't believe how big Nixon is getting too, such a cutie. We can't wait for Faye to come home so we can see all y'all together again.

Britt said...

Im so glad I finally got to meet yall, well some of yall! lol Im glad Faye is getting better and praying that her ANC goes up so yall can go home, for good!! :) By the way, I think Nixon is SO adorable! And I love how he's looking at Nick whenever yall are watching the "Kid History" video in the hospital! So cute! And he looks good in purple! lol Praying for yall always!

Brittni Allen