Thursday, October 7, 2010


Nadir is the specific time in between treatments when Morgan's blood counts are as low as they are going to get.  We went to see Dr. Beck and they took some blood to get those counts.  Due to the Neulasta shot she got last week, her white blood cell count was at 52.7...just in case you are wondering...normal is around 10.  Dr. Beck said that this would explain why her back and other bones hurt so much.  The bone marrow is working overtime to try to make up the blood cells which are being killed by the chemotherapy.  As most all of you know, your white blood cells are what fight infections and build immunities in your body.  As long as her numbers stay up...she can still go to school!

Dr. Beck presented a couple of different chemotherapy options for Morgan so that she could avoid the hypersensitivity reaction she has been experiencing each time.  Morgan was all for that!  Apparently the reaction is to the solvent that the Taxane poison is mixed in.  One option is to change to Taxoll which is in a different solvent.  This would need to be administered once a week in smaller doses which also means that instead of an IV, she would have to have a central line, or Port, placed in her chest.  The drug which would go along with this instead of Cytoxin would be Carboplatinum.....just sounds expensive, huh?

The second option would be Adriomyacin every two weeks with the Cytoxin.  One good thing about this is that it would be every two weeks so she could be completely finished in 8 weeks!  Downside is that it would also require a port and it runs a risk of creating heart damage.  After weighing the options, MORGAN DECIDED to stay with the regimen she is already on.  She figures that a short reaction each time outweighs the need for a port and the short recovery time inbetween treatments.  That really good 3rd week before chemo would be entirely eliminated with these other two options.

So what we are going to do is follow the original plan, increase the dosage of steroids the day and night before the chemo treatment and just be completely prepared for the reaction so it will last the least amount of time.  Morgan has matured so much and is thinking more like an adult.  We discuss all of the pros and cons of each option, but in the end SHE makes the decision.  Of course, Dr. Beck nor I will allow her to make a "bad" decision.

The stress and responsibility is starting to wear on her.  She is starting to realize how "real" all of this is and how it isn't just going to go away because she wants it to.  Like Dr. Beck said, she really is alone in all of this.  Not that there aren't many people who love and support her, but there isn't anyone else out there like her for her to talk to.  We got the name and number of a great counselor who will meet with her, with me, and with the entire family if needed.  There are so many great resources out there, it is just very time consuming to search all of these out on the I really appreciate it when you send me a link to a website that you think I should check out.

Life outside of Morgan's cancer has to continue on as normal.  We just aren't sure how to fit into that world.  I told a friend the other day that I feel like I am on a roller coaster on a different planet....and it is time to go home and be "normal" again!  We have our "ups" and unfortunately our "downs" but just know that we love and appreciate each and every one of you.  Our lives are being touched and influenced for the better each and every day...even the smallest and simplest things that may not seem like a very big deal for you.

We are being well-fed by the ward and by family.  I just received an amazing gift in the mail today from an old friend from Rexburg (you know who you are) which really means a lot to me...Thank You!  We are truly blessed and see small miracles each day.  Please keep in touch even if you don't always receive an immediate answer.  Keep us in your prayers, send pictures of any of your "pink" events, and drop by to say hi once in a while.  Love you so very much!

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