Day 3: Thursday, 18 May 2006

WBC down to 128,000. Not low enough, so in comes the ice cream cart. Aaron is connected, and the blood scrub (leukaphoresis) begins again. A few problems, blood doesn’t want to flow too well, but they manage.

Bloodscrub looks good, WBC count down to 75,000. Get the main line ready for injecting the heavy duty poison. The heavy duty poison can’t be injected into a wimpy little vein in an arm or a leg, as the poison is too toxic. It needs to get mixed immediately with a big volume of blood, so a “PIC” line, is inserted into Aaron’s upper left arm and guided with ultrasound all the way to the superior vena cave at the entrance to the heart’s right atrium.

As a last check, just before starting the poison, Aaron is x-rayed to check on the exact placement of the PIC line nozzle where the poison meets the blood. The doctor isn’t happy with the placement, so out comes the PIC line. Another line is needed. But by now, the WBC has rocketed back up to 120,000. It’s too late now for the major poison; the window is missed. Another bloodscrub will be needed tomorrow.

Aaron’s breathing is harder, more labored. Bump up the Oxygen. X-rays indicate something in the lungs. Pneumonia? Leukostasis? Crank up the antibiotics, just in case.

Second day of induction: “induction”: fancy word for dripping cytotoxins (cytotoxins:fancy word for the poisons, just slightly more poisonous to cancer cells than to healthy cells, i.e., the “Chemo” in “Chemotherapy)) into Aaron’s blood.

The leukemia is confirmed to be as initially diagnosed: Acute Myelogenous Lukemia (AML).

Author: a. c. boydston

Aaron is Alive!

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