Catherine Diagnosed With Leukemia
For those that may not know, Catherine was rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital late Thursday night (2/16/06) following several days of lethargy and a very high fever. Her initial blood work revealed abnormally low levels of hemoglobin, platelets and red blood cells and elevated levels of white blood cells. After several tests and procedures the hematologist confirmed a diagnosis of late pre b cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL for short late friday night.
I believe roughly 3000 cases are diagnosed each year. Given Catherines age (almost 4), sex and current white blood count (10,000), her team gave us a good prognosis. The process so far has been very tough on Catherine. Since she has been admitted to the hospital she has received one unit of blood (O positive) and 2 transfusions of platelets to improve her blood counts in preparation for surgery and chemotherapy. In addition to the blood products, she is receiving a saline iv with antibiotics to prevent any bacterial infection because her immunity is compromised.
As for the next step, a chest x-ray revealed no spreading of cancerous cells so she will be on a standard ALL regimen. This morning (2/18/06), Catherine is having surgery to insert a portacatheter in her chest that will be one of the ways chemo is administered and blood is drawn. While in surgery her doctors will perform the first of many bone marrow aspirates to examine the damage to her bone marrow. Lastly the surgeon will perform spinal tap to make sure the leukemia has not spread to her spinal fluid and brain. While under anasthesia Catherine received her first dose of chemo followed by 2 rounds later in the afternoon. We expect to be at Yale for about a week or until her blood shows no signs of the leukemia.