“It’s supposed to be hard. If it weren’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
Hey everyone! It’s transplant day +14!
Brandon’s neutrophils decided to join the party in a BIG way today. His white blood cell count went up to 2.7, with 2.3 of those being neutrophils! This is AMAZING! Between the doctors and I there were quite a few ‘white blood cell dances’ going on this morning. Once his absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is above 0.5 for three consecutive days it means he has successfully engrafted. One day down and two to go!
In other exciting news, Brandon’s levels of cytomegalovirus (CMV) have come down since they started the new antiviral treatment last week. He will continue on the CMV treatment until his new immune system is able to suppress the virus again, which may be a few months. Regardless, it’s great news that the virus is responding to the treatment and not causing any complications for Brandon.
Now that Brandon’s stem cells are starting to engraft, we will also start seeing his other blood cell counts rise as well. Today his platelets came up to 37! This is huge considering he has been receiving a platelet transfusion almost every day to keep them above 20. We will also start to see his blood type transition from 0+ to A+ and the donor’s cells engraft and start to make their own A+ red blood cells. This transition will slowly take course over a few weeks as the O+ red blood cells die and are replaced by A+ cells.
Brandon is still struggling with the side effects from the chemotherapy, but he is making steps in the right direction. The ‘chemo burn’ areas on his skin have slowly started to heal and the antibiotics have been effective in treating the infection. I am happy to report that he hasn’t run any fevers for quite a few days now.
Little by little we are working towards going home, although this is probably still a couple weeks out. Thank you all for your love and support during this time.