CD 34

Serry's CD34 count is at a 2 today. We need a 10 for them to start harvesting. Start thinking big numbers!

She's so cool...

WBC = 3.2 today!!!

Quick Count Update

White Blood Cells (WBC) - 1.4 (SWEET!)

CD34 (for harvesting) - did the test yesterday... will see if it's high enough to draw today, definitely will start on Friday!

Count total of harvesting - 3.13 (from last time's harvest)
Desired count - at least 13.13


Good evening, everyone,

I have a quick update here for Serry... She's been feeling the effects of the chemo ever since she had it... it's dropped her white blood cell count, made her not heal from minor issues (no white blood cells = no immune system), etc. She's felt kind of funky over the past week or so - still Serry, but not quite up to snuff.

Here are some numbers for you... (let's hope I Googled some of the right numbers, GRIN) White blood cell counts measure the total number of white blood cells in a microliter of blood, reported as an absolute number of "X" thousands of white blood cells. A normal measure for white blood cell counts would be 4,500 - 10,000 (or, I think, 4.5-10). Serry dropped down to .1 this weekend. Since then, she's been increasing daily... .2 on Sunday, .24 yesterday, and .5 today! Once she gets up to 1.0, they'll start counting her CD34 - that's when they'll know when they can start harvesting her stem cells.

Serry wanted me to make sure I left you all a note directly from her, too. :) I love this part. Serry said (it's not verbatim, but it's close):

"Make sure you tell everyone how much I enjoy their words of encouragement. They are a great source of strength and joy. I read and re-read them... no matter what people write, I really appreciate that they write and how much they care."

The long overdue chemo/Stem cell/General life update...

Good morning everyone!
Last you heard, Serry was in the hospital getting chemo. She was there for 3 days--chemo on Wednesday and Thursday. Here's a fun picture of her time there...
As she said - she's "totally tubular! 5 bags up and all going in!!"

Back to the chemo, though... I was really confused as to why she had to have chemo when she hadn't been able to produce enough stem cells to HAVE chemo. I just trusted, however, that her doctors knew a sliver more about cancer and the body than I do (insert laughing smiley here). I finally had it explained to me and now it makes complete sense...

Basically... her body was really worn out from the radiation and treatments that happened in the fall. Her bone marrow was, in a sense, all dried up. It wasn't creating new stem cells in the way that it needed to. Therefore, the chemo drug that they gave her last week's intent was to kill off all of those old, dried up, unusable cells, and encourage the body to make fresh, new, eager-to-work cells. After the chemo had a chance to start it's work, they began giving her shots again every day to, hopefully, be able to start harvesting soon. She's been getting these shots since Saturday, and I believe she said that they'll check her blood either today or tomorrow to see if her numbers are up high enough to begin the harvesting process. We're REALLY hoping that this round takes - these little guys are the ones that get to save her life over the next few months!

Here's something else I recently learned... Have you ever heard of the blood-brain barrier (BBB)? The BBB is a semi-permeable structure in the central nervous system that restricts the passage of various chemical substances and microscopic objects between the bloodstream and the neural tissue itself (i.e. the brain), while still allowing the passage of essential substances, like oxygen. This means that, for the most part, drugs like the majority of chemo drugs are not allowed access to the brain. HOWEVER, when a person has brain cancer... they have to find those drugs that ARE allowed access. That means that there are a select few drugs that the doctors can use to kill off the rest of this stuff. Interesting? We thought so.

Finally, I'd just like to RE-emphasize how much your comments, thoughts, and prayers mean to Serry. I know she cherishes each of you. And a special note to the Pullman gang... she really misses seeing you every day. I just got a chance to hang out with the whole family last night (Serry looks great, by the way!) and I think that you guys are all helping pull her through this. OH... you... and cinnamon rolls. That's the final thing I want to talk about before signing off. Serry hasn't really been eating over the past few months--she's been on a feeding tube, so she's still getting "fed", but not much REAL food. Well... over the past two days, she's certainly turned around! Yesterday she ate a ton of food - and kept saying, "I'm hungry! I'm hungry!" In the morning, she mentioned to Gentry that she wanted cinnamon rolls... and Gentry provided. You all know Paula Deen on the Food Network, right? As in... "My favorite foods are mayonaise and butter!" Well, Gentry found a fabulous recipe for cinnamon rolls... and Serry got to eat one! YUUUMMM. If I had the pictures she took, I'd post them. ;)

Have a good week, everyone.

Chemo and all...

OK - Here's the story as I know it.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday, Serry will be in the hospital getting some pretty intense chemo. It's just two days, but this stuff is really powerful--so we want it in and out of her system as quickly as possible. She'll still be in the hospital for part of Friday - then be able to go "home" (i.e. stay with family near the hospital). Saturday morning starts the harvesting process over again. That means shots for a few days to up the production of stem cells, then the actual harvesting. Her counts for stem cells were just above 3 when they finished last time... we need, I believe, at least 10 more - 15 was what they were looking at before. It WILL work this time... Serr's had more time to rest... time to let the final effects of the radiation wind down. I'm not sure what happens after the harvest - I think right now we're just looking at the immediate procedures.

Thanks for your love and prayers. Serry can DEFINITELY use them as we head into this next phase.


Hey all... I know nothing of this other than the quick note I read from Serry... so I'm sharing with you all. Here's what she said:

"Serry is going back into the hospital on Wednesday thru friday for chemo to jumpstart my stem cells. Wish me luck as this is my last chance for the stems... ..."

So... start wishing and praying... :)


The one thing (and pretty much ONLY thing) that I like about this whole situation with Serry is that it's proving just how many people care about her! I mean--you are all HER friends, FAMILY friends, some friends that we've never met in person, even! I think that's pretty amazing.

Hi everyone, Emily here again. I apologize for the long silence... but here I am! It's time for me to catch you up...

Because Serry's numbers weren't increasing with the stem cell harvesting, they stopped the harvesting process. As Serry said, her "bone marrow was tired and there was too little to harvest." So, instead of doing harvesting this past week, they've been making sure she's taken care of in other areas... fluids, tubes and gadgets, etc. This weekend she was able to stay home and rest... eating Jell-O and watching Dog Town on National Geographic.

I would love to tell you the exact plans for the next few weeks, but I'm not quite sure myself. I think they involve people like home care nurses and nutritionists, and last I heard chemo was supposed to start around the 19th... but a different kind of chemo that they had originally planned on. I learned that the radiation is still working on her - it takes about 60 days after the last treatment to finish--which means that it should be done affecting her in the next week or two.

I'm sorry I don't have many specifics, but I think we're all just taking things as they come - kind of what you have to do in this situation! :) Serry is strong, she's uber cool, and soon she'll be DONE with this. I know we're ALL looking forward to that day.

Signing out with some loves from our old dogger... We miss you, girl!

Today's Harvest

Today got us up to 2.672. We need bigger numbers.

And you know what?? With all this snow and awful winter weather we've been having, why don't we all leave messages filled with sunshine here?! :) I think Serry could use the SUN, even if it's only electronically. So Serr... think SUN, WARMTH, Summer rays... We love you!!!

Harvesting Update

So Serry just finished day 2 of the harvesting process. I know next to nothing about the specifics of what they're doing, but here's the latest info... She needs counts of 15 before they finish... and as of today they're only at 2.62.

Prayer requests...
~Numbers would shoot up QUICKLY so that they get what they need and it doesn't take forever for it to happen.
~Endurance for this - they're traveling back and forth from the hospital and that, combined with the stresses of the procedure, etc., are tiring.
~Continued healing... She's still recovering from the radiation/chemo from before.
~HEALING in general. As always.

Thanks everyone.

Tomorrow! :)

So... as I think I mentioned in the last post, Serry's getting shots that will lead up to the stem cell harvesting. The plan was that they would be harvested some time this weekend or even as late as Monday. However, I just got news this afternoon that she's going in TOMORROW for the harvest! This is really good news - it means fewer days of shots and putting her body through all this stuff--and having the weekend OFF. :)

Please keep her in prayers for the harvesting procedure, too. I don't know much about it, but... we always need things to go smoothly and perfectly.

Isn't Serry just exceptionally fantastic? :)

Design by Blogger Templates