June, 16 2017
So, we came in for a check-up this morning and Calum is doing OK. He is getting another platelet transfusion right now, but does not require a blood transfusion. The body uses new platelets a lot quicker than blood, so by next week he may need another blood transfusion, but I take it as a positive sign he didn’t need one today, too. I think it means his body is on an upswing.
His white blood cells are still incredibly low, but have come up ever so slightly. For a frame of reference, a healthy white blood cell (WBC) count would be within a range of 5.5–12.3K/mcL. Neutrophils represent a portion of the overall WBC and we want them to be at a bare minimum of 0.5 in order not to be admitted to the hospital in the event of a fever/infection. On Tuesday his OVERALL WBC was 0.2; too low to even measure a neutrophil differential. Today, his overall WBC is 0.5; still too low to get the differential on his neutrophils, but rising nonetheless. It’s a good sign they have come up because it hopefully signifies that the trend is on the rise. It just may take a while to get to a level where it isn’t scary – hopefully a week or two.
Calum’s spirits are very good and he does not seem as weak as his counts indicate, which is also very important. To see him looking well (aside from tons of little bruises) and showing plenty of energy is of great encouragement to us and his doctors. He’s currently passed out on Benedryl with a Youtube video running in the background of a gorilla fist-fighting a tyrannosaurus rex and a bunny rabbit pounding on a triceratops. Almost as surreal as reality. Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love and prayers for Calum. I think that it’s working.