Tuesday, January 24, 2012

returning to "normal"

Praise the Lord, it's been exactly one month since my dad was diagnosed with ITP and today he was given a "green light" on getting back to normal so to speak. A quick update on the past week. Last week Wednesday was his 4th and final IVIG treatment. If it didn't work they were going to look into new treatment options.

He had his 4th treatment Wednesday, went in Friday for a platelet count in hopes he'd be at 400,000 if all was going well. And the roller coaster ride went for another crazy loop, his numbers were at 145,000. It appeared the treatment was not taking like it should be. So he came home and waited until today (Tuesday) for another blood work up. We were assuming and preparing our hearts for a drop as he had had no further treatments or means to push his numbers up. Much to our surprise and joy his platelet count was at 160,000 today! This means his body produced 15,000platelets over the past four days on their own! The doctor was pleased to say the least and said he doesn't need to come in every couple of days any more.

The plan right now is for my dad to go in once a week for a blood work up and as long as his numbers stay fairly stable he's good to go. He's been back at work and doing most of his normal routine activities which is encouraging to all of us. Praise the Lord for this news today and a stable bill of health for my dad! Thanks for praying with us through this.

Monday, January 16, 2012

dropping again . . .

I just got an update call from mom a few minutes ago. My dad's platelet count this morning is at 69,000. His last IVIG treatment was on Monday so after one week he dropped significantly in his numbers. They are doing his third treatment right now, it takes about 4 hours and then we'll see what the docs have to say. Apparantly his body is still rapidly killing off platelets and the IVIG treatment is not going to be the hoped for "long-term" treatment plan.

One thing that continues to come to mind as I reflect of the past three weeks since this all started is this is no surprise to God. He knew this was coming, we didn't. He knows the outcome, we don't. He knows the cause and the "right" treatment, we don't yet. Bottom line though, God is in control and we can TRUST Him. That is good enough for me. And so the testing and waiting game continues . . .

January 11th

I apologize for getting behind on dad's updates. Last week I posted on facebook but neglected to update my blog and realize some of you only get updates through my blog. Last week Wednesday was dad's last hospital visit of that week. Just a quick recap . . . the days start to blur together so it helps me keep things straight in my head too.

Dad went in last week Monday the 9th and his platelet count after one treatment had gone up to 78,000. They went ahead that day and did a second IVIG treatment. Wednesday the 11th he went in and his platelet count was up to 172,000! The normal range for platelets is between 140,000-350,000 so he made it back to a normal range. This was a TREMENDOUS answer to prayer! The doctors decided to wait and do two more treatments this week to spread them apart some as they seem to be working.

As it stands now he will go back in today, January 16th, for another blood work up and likely his third IVIG treatment. I guess the treatment will depend on his numbers. They still do not know the initial cause of his ITP but the treatment they are using seems to be working and that is HUGELY encouraging. Doctors said last week he will probably have a treatment today (1/16/12) and Wednesday (1/18/12) to "bulk up" his count.

Dad has been feeling more energetic the past several days. He put in a half day of work Saturday and was able to go to church yesterday. He may start back working half days the end of this week or next week. I will try to post again later tonight when we get the results from his visit today. Thanks again for praying with us! There is power in prayer!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Great news!!

Today my dad went in for his regular blood work up and his platelet count was 78,000!! Woohoo!! It appears that the IVIG treatment is working. Our family was thrilled to say the least to hear his numbers went up so much. He's still short of the normal 140,000-350,000 count but doctors said they don't know what his count will get to. He will likely have a new "normal" but be in a safe and functional range soon where he will be off "house arrest."

As it stands right now dad will go back in to the hospital on Wednesday for another count and possibly a third treatment. He's hoping to get the go ahead this week to leave the house, go outside for fresh air and be able to go back to work in the near future. There are still steps to take and things to figure out like the reason this came on in the first place but things are looking up!

Thanks to all who have been faithfully praying with us through this time! Please continue to pray awhile longer as we wait for some more answers and a future treatment plan. Thank you Lord for Your healing touch and for extending our time with our dad, I am forever grateful.

Friday, January 06, 2012

good news!

We have some really good news from today's doctors appointment. My dad's platelet count this morning was still low 2,000 (no surprise). We DID get results back from his bone marrow biopsy though and he does NOT have leukemia or any form of cancer, praise the Lord! Cancer was a "worst outcome" scenario so we are grateful to have that option ruled out. :) What the doctor shared with my parents today is that my dad has ITP which is incurable but treatable. They also said because of his continued low count platelet infusions and steriods are not helping him.

Dad had his first of four possible IVIG treatments today which in essence is a high dose of platelets with antibodies to fight whatever his body producing that is killing off his platelets. Statistically 75% of people who get this treatment respond positively to it. He had his first treatment (4 hours long) today and will go back in Monday for another blood count and a second treatment. If he responds well to the IVIG treatment they may do a third round on Wednesday. The doctor doesn't know if this treatment will work but he said there are other options to try if it doesn't. We are hopeful that it will take and we won't have to try other routes but the Lord knows.

We feel like there was progress made today in that cancer was ruled out and options for treatment were discussed so that is encouraging. Thanks to everyone who is keeping tabs and praying faithfully! We appreciate it more than I can say. Please pray through the weekend with us that my dad's body will respond favorably to the IVIG treatment.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

more steriods and waiting . . .

So we are still playing the waiting game. My dad went back in this morning for another blood count and a bone marrow biopsy. His platelet count was at 2,000 even after a direct steriod IV drip yesterday. The docs had a pow-wow this morning and are concerned at the low response to treatment so they are going to fast track his biopsy in hopes to get his results back by Friday and not have to wait the regular 10days.

A blessing today, his biopsy went really smooth and was not all that painful. I called dad tonight after work and he said he hadn't even taken a tylenol yet b/c he was feeling pretty good. THANK YOU for praying even in the little things and steps along the way.

The plan for now is for dad to stay home until Friday morning. They've given him enough steriods to do a daily dose at home the next two days. Friday AM if his number is not 50,000 he will do an IVIG (immune globulin). We also hope for some answers and direction from blood work and bone marrow results.

He does not need blood donations at this time. The platelet infusion didn't work so, for now, they're going with steroids for treatment. Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, January 02, 2012

low platelet count

My dad's platelet count this morning (Monday) was 1,000. They did a steroid drip at the hospital before they let him go to try and stabilize him. Something is still rapidly killing off his platelets. He should be stable through tonight with the steroid drip that he got today.

Tomorrow (Tues) he will go in for a bone marrow biopsy and hopefully we'll have some some results and answers from his blood work last week. The bone marrow biopsy takes about a week to process so we won't know results from that until probably next week sometime. Please keep praying with us for answers this week and for his platelet count to go up and maintain. We are requesting no visitors until we know more about what is going on.

Thanks for loving us through prayer! We are grateful to be in HIS hands!