Another encouraging statistic was Carmen's ANC (absolute neutrophil count) level, which is an average calculating our bodies ability to fight off infection. A normal ANC level is between 1500 and 8000. When Carmen was admitted to the hospital, her ANC level was 0. Today, her body has been able to restore her ANC level to 250. The doctors are mainly concerned that the number is increasing but want the number to be 500. This number will fluctuate over the next 30 days as Carmen's body is bombarded with the chemotherapy drugs and the reason why we have to be so careful with keeping her healthy.
Heather and I met with the lead oncologist today, Doctor Kyono to hear his analysis of Carmen's progression. He expressed that he is encouraged by Carmen's strength and ability to fight through these treatments. At this point Carmen has shown no serious side effects or reactions. All we can hope is this positive trend continues.
Something specific that he mentioned was Carmen's ability to quickly void the "bad" cells on her own. As the Chemotherapy drugs attack the Leukemia cells, it makes them literally explode releasing high levels of uric acid and potassium into the blood. By themselves at low levels these are good things (around 0.5 to 5.0) for our body but the numbers in Leukemia patients can spike into the 1,000's. Carmen has been able to keep her levels at 1.6 without intervention.
Jacquie visited Carmen this morning for another session of healing touch, which was once again an amazing experience. Their session gave our little princess an emotional boost that lasted the whole day. Jacquie was also able to articulate to us how Carmen is feeling emotionally, letting us know that she is starting to get sick of all these people poking and prodding her.
Then we were so lucky to be visited by Auntie Teacher (Marau). the angel who runs Waikoko Kids (Carmen's pre school). Marau brought lots of love, hugs and a banner signed by all of Carmen's class mates. We all enjoyed the visit tremendously. Marau has such a special way of bringing positive energy and joy to everyone. Heather and I were also able to get some fresh air and pick up some supplies at the grocery store, including a huge baguette that Carmen promptly devoured as soon as we returned.
In anticipation of Carmen's discharge, our good friend Mary Hall, who was visiting from Kauai, brought our stroller and car seat. This along with all of her luggage and three boys. Thank you, Mary.
And of course...Carmen insisted once again to watch game two of the Stanley Cup final with her Daddy. Go Canucks Go!!!!
It is simply amazing to me that Carmen is able to smile during all of this. Her strength, determination and courage is inspirational. It is almost as if she is telling her Mommy and Daddy that we do not have to worry because she is going kick this cancers butt!!!!!!
Below are a few pictures of the day
Waking up with Tucker....
....and a cookie.
Visiting with Jacquie
Day 10 in the hospital. One day left
The banner from Waikoko Kids
Time for a little top up
Ray of Sunshine
Sweet Dreams.....our Tough Little Princess