Day 709/81

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Benji needed more morphine and heat packs throughout the night to stay comfortable, but these tools worked, and he slept well. He woke up in pain and wanted a hot bath just before shift change. It was so early that his lab work wasn’t back yet. We went back to sleep at sunrise, and when we woke for the day, there was a note from one of Benji’s favorite nurses taped to the television. On it were Benji’s lab numbers. I felt like dancing.

Benjamin’s white blood cell count remained the same as yesterday, but his blast percentage went down to 69%. Hallelujah. His ANC doubled, protecting him from infection. Most notably, his platelets rose, on their own, to 19,000. This is HUGE. This wasn’t a transfusion sticking, this morning was his own precious bone marrow at work, making brand new healthy cells. It’s only one day. It’s not a trend. But I think this is a very good sign.

Unfortunately Benji’s spleen pain persisted after he woke up for the day, though it was less intense than last night. We took it easy through the morning hours. He needed one more dose of morphine early in the afternoon, then he started to feel better and hasn’t needed any since. When Michael and Banyan arrived, Benji agreed to go outside in a wheelchair. He was hurting so we didn’t stay long. But it felt so good to be in the sunshine for a few minutes.

Kathy and Gana came to visit early this evening, and by then Benji was feeling so much better. He didn’t eat a meal today but he picked at a few snacks. He felt nauseous as the night progressed, but he didn’t vomit, and remained calm and comfortable until he slept, without need for pain relief.

Benjamin asked again today when we might be able to go home for a little while. The answer is still the same–I have no idea–but today I felt optimistic that we might get a break. I’ve learned not to have expectations; this is a brand new medicine Benji’s on, and it’s very possible they’ll want to monitor him throughout its administration. It’s also possible that this morning’s numbers won’t develop into a trend. But I believe they will. I don’t have expectations, but I have optimism, and it feels so good tonight.

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