Leukemia Vocabulary

While we continue to wait I will share some of my new vocabulary words.

Petechaie – When platelets are low in the blood capillaries burst on the surface of the skin leaving red spots.

Tumor Lysis – Leukemia cells are rapidly dividing and spilling contents into the blood. This causes a change in the chemicals in blood which could cause damage to organs.

Neutropenic – immune system is suppressed even though white blood cell count is high. This is because the white blood cells are young and not fully functioning.

Nadir – This is the low point that occurs about 7-10 days after chemo when the bone marrow is wiped out for about 2-3 weeks. Bone marrow regenerates hopefully without the leukemia.

I am currently neutropenic which is why I have dietary and lifestyle restrictions. I’m on a low-bac diet. I cannot eat fresh fruits or vegetables or salad except for what comes from the hospital’s special sterile kitchen. I cannot have outside unsealed drinks or ice. I can only have sterile ice and water or unopened containers. No deli meat or sushi or anything with a chance of carrying bacteria.

I also can’t use a toothbrush for fear of mouth sores. I’m given sponge toothettes and biotene mouthwash. I can’t clip my nails or use razors. I was given permission to use an electric razor but then I somehow cut myself so that’s out. I also was scolded for putting on eyeliner because it could introduce bacteria. The doctor said if I must I can use a new eyeliner and dip it in alcohol. Of course, I said that I must.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring good news on the insurance/clinical trial quibble. We could really use some good news.

Here’s a pic of when Amira took me outside for a walk. I was allowed to be unhooked from the IV for 60 minutes but still had to wear a mask. I’m already bloated from the fluids they pump into me constantly. We still had fun.


Posted on June 18, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Ellen Ridenour

    Thinking of you from Canada. Thank you for sharing your blog. I am praying you get good news from the insurance company. Your kids look so much like you!


  2. If they didn’t have to be sterile, we could at least decorate the masks for you:-)

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