Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some steps forward, a couple sideways

Sometimes a journey has a few sideways steps in order to go forward. Lucy's blood clot is not responding as well as hoped. Dr. Thurmes, the hematologist, stopped by this afternoon. He wants to use a catheter inserted closer to the clot and use a stronger blood thinner. The catheter will be inserted tomorrow unless something changes. The process will take about two days and Lucy obviously will remain in the hospital until at least Saturday. He also ordered a head CT scan as a precaution.

One thing noted during her blood work is her white count and platelets are a little low. This is most likely from the Taxol used in the previous round of chemo. Because of the blood thinner that will be used, she will receive a platelet transfusion tomorrow.

Cancer can cause blood clotting problems. Lucy also has a blood clotting factor that was discovered during more thorough blood work and could put her at a slightly higher risk of recurrence. The factor also means a standard INR test may be misleading. There is a different clotting test that can be used.

Right now the focus is on getting the clot dissolved. Lucy will likely be on Coumadin for a period of time after she is released from the hospital. It's still too early to determine exactly how long. We did not get a chance to discuss her anemia, but that will be addressed in the near future.

The last sideways step is she is still having pain management issues despite getting Dilaudid in her IV. It does make her sleepy so she is getting rest.

Now on to the steps forward! Lucy's appetite is pretty good and her sense of taste is a lot better. The blood transfusion took several hours last night, but she did get all three units without too much drama. Her hemoglobin was 9.8 several hours after the transfusion which is a big step in the right direction. She has good color in her cheeks again. Her blood work did not indicate infection and her kidneys are working well.

It was a long night for both of us. Lucy managed to get more sleep than me. She will be getting her pain med in a few minutes and then I'm heading home. We're thankful for the steps forward!

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