Thursday, February 14, 2013
Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 242
First Jemma received platelets and then red blood on Wednesday afternoon. We spent the entire day at the hospital and the blood made her feel much better. During the transfusion her complexion completely changed from very pale to pinkish again. Once she was home she had tons of energy and danced all evening.
Since her blood hasn't yet recovered on its own we are still on a break from chemotherapy and have to return on Saturday for another blood check.
The maintenance phase of therapy which lasts one and a half to two years is just around the corner. She will begin with weekly blood checks that can become less frequent as her blood becomes more stable. Her immune system will be better than it has been during the intensive portion of treatment, but colds, flues and illness will still be very dangerous for her. We will have to visit the hospital each time she gets sick so the doctors can decide if she will need to be hospitalized or can be sick at home.
Chemotherapy tends to destroy previous immunizations. During the entire one and a half to two years of maintenance she shouldn't be around children who are not immunized. Illnesses which children are vaccinated against are dangerous for healthy kids to contract. Jemma's compromised immune system makes illnesses such as chicken pox, measles and influenza even more dangerous. When maintenance is finished she will have to be immunized all over again.