Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dropping Counts

Tyler is still feeling good. His ANC is up to 770, so he is allowed to have some friends over. 1,000 is the magic number they are looking for, and he should be there soon.

Unfortunately all the other counts have begun to move down. White cells, red cells, and platelets are all dropping. Yesterday was 6 hours in clinic with two transfusions. We will be back to clinic Monday, and will likely require more transfusions. The start of round 5 of chemo had been set up for Monday, but has already been moved to Wednesday. The doc's are doubtful even that will happen. They suspect we will need another week. Tyler's platelets need to get to 100 for chemo to begin, and in the past 24 hours he dropped from 26 to 14. White cells have dropped to 1.2, and red cells are at 8.7.

As we were warned, each round becomes more difficult in recovery. The chemotherapy does extensive damage to the bone marrow and the body's ability to recover.

I have spent a lot of time researching information from those who promote alternative cancer treatments. They have a lot of information about the toxicity of chemo and why this poison should not be used. It is amazing to watch the extreme precautions of the medical staff as they make sure none of this poison touches them, while they dump a bucket full directly into Tyler's heart and blood stream. The information from those who advocate alternative treatments is actually very accurate in regards to the viciousness of the drugs poured inside Tyler's body. Unfortunately, especially when dealing with the most aggressive cancers, their alternative treatments lack the results in most cases (although there are always exceptions). With Tyler's youth, faith, and determination, he can and will survive all of this. Soon he will be cancer free. Until then, we have a few relaxing days at home. Think I will call Brandon to come home so we are all six together for Sunday.

Please continue to pray for Brett in his family. They are continuing to make him as comfortable as possible as they search of treatment options.


Anonymous said...

Keep looking into the alternatives. I have mentioned Reiki for pain, before. That can be done in addition to his treatments. Just a light, hands-on touch is used and will ramp up the body's own healing ability. It is God's healing energy coming through the practioners hands. It can only do positive things. Find a Reiki practioner by looking for massage therapists in your area and call and ask if they also do Reiki, a website for a massage therapist would probably tell the services they offer. You do not have to believe in this for it to work. The energy goes where it is needed. Your son is the healer who allows the healing to take place.

You are right about doctors not wanting to touch what they pour into your son. Ask a doctor if they would take chemo if they had cancer.

You are learning. Also do a search on "money to be made from chemo". There is a lot more gained from chemo treatments than what they want you to believe.

MJ/Angel_Wings said...

Tyler I am praying for higher counts for you. Please know you are being thought of and are prayed for always

Lisa Slonecker said...

I'm sorry Tyler's not bouncing back as quickly this round. I know the feeling of anxiousness of wanting to stay on schedule and forging on when the counts are not cooperating.

We were always amazed as well when the nurses came in double-gloved, gowned, with face mask on to administer Jana's chemo. We have had similar discussions. Yep--it's poison, as we are reminded time and again as Jana's struggles with recovery. But, as a result--she is cancer-free and she will recover completely eventually. And so will Tyler!

Continue to make the most of your time at home. I believe that things work out the way they are supposed to and apparently Tyler's body needs some additional recovery time to be strong enough to endure the next round.

We'll be praying for it to happen very, very soon. In the meantime, rest, relax, enjoy some family time.


deyerles said...

Hey guys,

Don't worry one bit about those counts. I have been steadily praying for things to get better and I know God will make it happen when the time is right. Mean time enjoy your time at home. Play hard, eat good and sleep well!

Interesting conversation about alternative treatments from you and anonymous. I'll have to follow up on some of that.

Fight to Win!

Phyllis H. said...

Mr. Alfriend,
We originally found your blog after seeing the ad for "Laps of Love" in the Dublin News, and have been checking in ever since. Our prayers go out to Tyler and to your family. What tremendous courage has been displayed in Tyler's fight, your love for one another and your faith in the Lord. We are praying for a complete recovery and remission of cancer for Tyler. In addition, our prayer list has grown by leaps and bounds as we are praying for(and feel a connection to) everyone listed as a "link" on your blog.

I have wanted to comment multiple times but haven't for one reason or another. After reading the post from anonymous I feel as if I must now. My husband is a 7 yr. Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor. While he was going through treatment, I too did many searches re: alternative treatments, as the chemo was so devasting to his body. It is mind boggling to think that something that makes you so incredibly ill can actually cure you of a disease. I know how difficult and frightening it was to see my husband endure those treatments, I can't begin to fathom what you and your wife must be feeling.

While Reiki massage sounds like a wonderful treatment to compliment the traditional/western medicine Tyler is currently undergoing - there are alot of people & groups out there pushing unfounded and unknown treatments on cancer patients. I know this first hand. And,I don't think this is the forum to be questioning the money being made from chemo drugs.

I might add, my husbands grandmother died of Hodgkins many, many years ago - because there were NO TREATMENTS for the disease at that time. While the chemo treatments are awful, the point is there ARE treatments(with stats to back them up)available today. And, with continued education and fundraising(through groups like TNT/LLS and others)the treatments will only get better and we pray that cancer will be eradicated or maybe we will one day treat it with a vacination - like polio, mumps and measeles(sp?).

Also, as a side note my husband's oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Zangmeister (one of the highlights of our cancer journey I might add) of Mid Ohio Oncology is the son of Dr. Mark Zangmeister. Dr. Mark Zangmeister was an ONCOLOGIST himself and a much beloved teacher here in central Ohio. Unfortunately, he lost his own battle with a blood cancer a few years ago. He underwent the traditional chemo therapy procedures just like our loved ones. So, any time I hear someone say that a doctor wouldn't give chemo to one of their own family members, I know first hand it is a CROCK. Am I a bit touchy on this subject? You bet.

What I do know is that we are blessed to live in a community that has an award winning Childrens Hospital. And, it appears from your posts that you have doctors, nurses and staff there that are caring and they want nothing more than the best outcome(remission/cure) for your son Tyler. And, as far as companies making money off of chemo, I personally would have paid whatever necessary to see my husband get better. And, I can't imagine anyone at Childrens would allow your son to undergo such treatments if there were something out there that would kill the cancer without being so devasting to his body.

You are right cancer sucks! The treatments suck even more!! But, Tyler is strong in faith and obviously character and he is a fighter. I look forward to the upcoming post that will read Tyler 5 - Cancer 0

Your honesty and love for your son and your family comes through in every post. May God Bless you. We will continue to pray for your family. FIGHT TO WIN!
Phyllis Holderness
Dublin, Oh.

Grandma Bonnie said...


Continue to enjoy your time at home. We are so happy you are feeling better. The counts will come up - you are on your way to claiming your life back.

We continue to enjoy an awesome time in Israel. Can't wait to tell you all about it. This is just amazing and I now understand parts of the Bible so much better. Went to the site where Jesus healed the cripple man at the pools. What a story and site.

You have prayers and lighted candles all over Galilee and Jerusalem.