Monday, August 27, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 71

Today Jemma and I spent the entire day in the hospital. We left when the first mothers were dropping their children off at preschool and returned with the 9-5 working folk. During that time Jemma's blood was checked, she was put to sleep for a bone marrow withdraw and then she received her seventh blood transfusion. 

The long break from chemotherapy continues. It has been a stressful weekend as a break this long is a bit uncommon. Jemma's blood has not begun to regenerate and she has been on a break from chemotherapy since August 13 (15 days).

Three things are most likely to cause the delay; First, she could have a virus. She was tested for several viruses on Friday and we still do not have these results. Second, her blood could contain an enzyme which makes it extremely sensitive to the Purinetol chemo pills she was taking. This test came back negative and she does not have the sensitivity. Third, her Leukemia could have relapsed and instead of producing good white blood cells she could again be producing bad white blood cells known as blasts. After the results from her blood work this morning indicated little to no regeneration a bone marrow withdraw was performed. I am so relieved that the results of this test showed no blasts (bad white blood cells). In addition, under the microscope the building blocks required for her body to produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were all visible in the bone marrow from this test.

Therefore, a virus is the most likely cause for the delay, but it has not been the proven cause. The doctors believe her blood should show signs of regeneration within a few days. In the mean time, she has no immune system and we continue to clean obsessively, use lots of hand sanitizer, watch her closely and check her for fever several times during the night.


  1. I will pray for her. I will keep you in my prayers as well.

    We are going through something similar with my uncle, who also has leukemia. It's so difficult.

    1. Theresa - I'm sorry to hear that anyone has to go through this. Big hugs to you and your uncle.

  2. I've been thinking of you and Jemma often and you are certainly in my prayers. I hope they find an answer for the day soon. *Hugs*


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