01 February 2011

Low on the Whites

During Mom's visit to the medical oncologist on Monday, she learned that her white blood cell count was low. This is nothing new to Mom since both red and white cell counts have been on the low side for a few years now. However this does pose a problem. Due to the low white cell count, Mom was given a shot, Procrit, to help increase her white cell count. The doctor wants the shot to work so she will not see him again until the 14th. His main concern is that if Mom has a chemo treatment and then the next week her counts are low she cannot keep getting the shots because this will confuse the white blood cells (speeding up with the chemo and slowing down with the shot). So he said he was going to need to rethink her treatment.

The doctor is also concerned about the lymph nodes around the sternum. He think they have increased in size (from 3mm to 5mm) and wants to investigate more. There is some cause for concern with this development however Mom's cancer markers have not changed and there is no sign of spreading to the liver or the lungs (which are the first places pancreatic cancer spreads).

On a more positive note, the doctor does think Mom is strong enough to proceed with the radiation treatment. The oncology group of doctors will meet again, review Mom's case and come up with a new plan of treatment which she will find out more about that on the 14th.

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