Monday, March 3, 2014

How it all started...

As many of you know, this all started with Ava having high fevers and a skin infection. Here's a brief timeline of events:

Feb 26 - (from Esther's Facebook page):
"Ava was hospitalized today for a possible MRSA infection after 6 days of high fevers and a skin infection that has gotten worse. She's not happy about the IV that's coming up so your prayers are appreciated!"

Based on labs drawn in the hospital, the doctors gave the shocking news that they suspect Ava has leukemia.

Feb 27 - The oncologist confirms Ava's leukemia diagnosis. They are unable to do a bone marrow biopsy because a mass found on a gland near Ava's airway may cause respiratory issues if she is sedated. However, she has enough blasts in her blood to send to the lab for further diagnosis.

Feb 28 - Ava is found to have acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is transferred to Lurie Children's Hospital for better care. Her white blood count (WBC) is over 90K and there are almost 99% blasts (cancer cells) in her blood. She is to be started on a 10-day course of chemotherapy the following day.

Mar 1 - The doctors discover that Ava actually has a "mixed lineage" type of leukemia. This means that her cancer cells demonstrate properties of both acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) as well as AML, putting her in a very small category of patients with this leukemia type. (Lurie's sees maybe 1 case every year or so). The decision is to change the chemotherapy regimen to the 5-day course used to treat ALL, (prognosis is better if patients respond to ALL treatment) and Ava has her first dose of chemo.

Mar 2 - Ava's white blood count spikes to over 100,000, demonstrating that she is not responding well to the ALL chemotherapy treatment. She is switched back to a 10-day course of chemotherapy to treat AML.

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