Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Up, Then Down Again

During the first two rounds of chemo, the side effects hit Tyler hard and held him down until about 10 days after the end of treatments. Then, when he rebounded, he did so relatively fast. This 3rd round of chemo has been very different. Tyler's status changes day by day, and often hour by hour. Yesterday morning was very bad. By afternoon he was feeling good and was able to have two visitors, his friends Tony and Tommy. Then, not long after they left, Tyler had a severe allergic reaction to one of the new drugs. Tyler began to improve for a while after they stopped the drug. Then everything turned again during the night. It is never a good thing when the doctors are spending more time in the room than the nurses themselves.

GOOD NEWS: There were no negative findings in the x-rays of Tyler's chest and abdomen.

NO CHANGE: We still can not identify the infection. Therefore all the blood counts remain very low. Platelet and blood transfusions continue. Tyler's blood pressure remains much to low. The white blood count, the most critical at this point, remains at 0.1.

Med School 101: Blood counts are measurements per 1,000. Therefore 0.1 count is actually 100. You and I have about 10,000. Patients on chemo are typically 3,000-4,000. Tyler is at 100. Our white cells exist to fight infection. An analogy would be that your body needs 10,000 soldiers to fight a battle against a powerful enemy, but only 100 soldiers show up. It's not going to work. Unfortunately, you can not transfuse white blood cells (Tyler's transfusions have been for his dropping red cells and platelets). The bottom line is that nothing positive will happen until the bacterial infection is identified and stopped.

All night and morning there has been a lot of activity in the room. Lots of doctors. Lots of nurses. Lots of meds. A lot of everything except results.

Maybe tonight or maybe tomorrow
I'll win this fight and bury my sorrow
I'm so alive and still holding on
Not willing to die, so I live strong



Pete said...


We are praying for you & fighting for you in our hearts!

You are an inspiration to all of us.


The Davies-Pete, Lisa, Connor, Nicholas & Grant

Anonymous said...

Praying continually for you today.


Lisa Slonecker said...

The roller coaster ride continues--so many curves, so many sudden stops and fast abrupt bursts of speed, so many hills and so many valleys--hang on for the ride and know there are lots of prayer warriors with you cheering you on. Glad to hear the x-ray results were good.

Come on, white cells--we need you!

Many thoughts and prayers,

The Sloneckers

The Zacharias Family said...

Prayers are being said for you.

Barb, Randy & Matthew

Anonymous said...


I look at you and I see the seemingly neverending support that is coming your way and I can only think of one thing. White blood cell counts may be 10,000 for the "normal" person and 100 for you, but prayers for you outnumber the normal person 10,000 to 1. You have shown so much strength and so much heart, you're an inspiration to everyone. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers every day. Stay strong Tyler, stay strong.

If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.
Lance Armstrong

-A caring friend

Anonymous said...

You may only have 100 warriors, but remember that it only took one warrior sent by God to kill Goliath. Praying God sends the one warrior it will take to "FIGHT TO WIN!!!!!!"

deyerles said...

Dear Tyler,

I am so glad to hear the good news about your x-rays! Bravo! For now I will continue to pray for a rapid increase in white blood cells! Once that happens hopefully the rest will take care of itself. You are so couragous. Hang in there! We are so proud of you. You are AWESOME!!!!!!!

patricia said...

We're holding all of you in prayer, Tyler, the whole family, all the doctors and nurses. I'll put Tyler on our parish prayer list.

Blessings, Patricia

Anonymous said...

Hey tyler i had a really good time seeing u on j-5 the other day. i am hoping to c u again this week. im not giving up on u....ur in my prayers.

Tommy Beith

Anonymous said...

Remember Gideon who started out with over 30,000 men defeated the Midianites with only 300.

You will win this fight!


Anonymous said...

I'm mad, I'm angry, I'm fighting with you. You and your family are backed by thousands.

Fight to annihilate!

The Belkes

Anonymous said...

Hi Tyler,

I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite quotes from Miles Levin:

"I am doing fine because I refuse to do otherwise. That much is mine. Attempts to extinguish my fire thus far have only intensified it. With each crashing wave, I plant my feet deeper in the sand and become more resolute."

I'm pulling for you.