Friday, June 5, 2009

Better...and another mystery

I'll try to do this quickly because I really want to do some stuff in the house.

The Boy looks better today. The swelling has gone down and since he is constantly being monitor for hydration level (specific gravity), he'll be safe for chemo. Such as it is. He ate breakfast and took his medicines just fine.

Here's the new mystery: there is something in the kidney that helps to regulate the production of red blood cells. Usually, oncologists and nephrologists don't think to check levels on this unless there is any indication that the kidney is functioning poorly. The Boy's kidney function is still pretty good, based on his last creatinine clearance (you know, the 24 hour pee-bag). But even with infection as a factor, he has needed to be transfused quite a bit more often. And his red cells drop in a hurry when he is sick.

So they are doing a blood test (not a big deal, just take it out of the port...you know...) to check levels of erythropoietin, which is the protein hormone in question. EPO is its abbreviation.

They actually make an Epo-gen shot, like Neupogen. Not sure how often it is given. Neupogen is actually easier in some ways than the oral meds. I give the Neupogen very quickly and it's done, and he gets over it very quickly. Sometimes he'll pitch a fit for several minutes after an oral med he doesn't like. Or just puke up everything.

We'll see. But it actually feels good to know that they are investigating a specific problem that has an answer.

1 comment:

Sarah R said...

I hope everything comes back normal!