Saturday (Day 16) update:
With the awesomeness of yesterday's noon labs, I was anxiously waiting for the results from the midnight blood draw. My heart started pounding when the nurse came in around 2am with the print-out. His white blood cell count (WBC) was 45.8k. I took a deep breath, and thought..Well, OK. Just breathe. Don't panic. That's still lower than it was a few days ago. BJ was having a rough night with confusion, a rising temperature, and bone pain throughout his body. He has periods of greater confusion, and there are times when he struggles to get the words out that he's trying to say. This is very frustrating and upsetting to him. He hurts everywhere. Just touching him causes pain, so with every blood pressure check, getting up and laying down, repositioning in the bed, he winces. When he is sleeping, he groans. The doctor decided to increase his morphine again, which caused him to itch. They added a very small Narcan dose that should block the itching. The high fever is also causing him a lot of discomfort. He goes from having chills to being hot, and just can't get comfortable. Even with 925mg of Tylenol every 6 hours, it didn't stop his temp from going up to 105 degrees at 3:00 this morning. As the night went on, the more agitated he became. He just didn't want to be messed with, but with every yank of an electrode, or removal of the pulse ox from his finger, the monitor was alarming. It happened off and on all night, because he was so restless and uncomfortable. His noon labs came back, and with it, a sigh of relief, because his WBC was down to 39.8k. A different doctor saw BJ at rounds today, and reassured me that the fluctuation between lab draws was normal, and the values are heading down. He explained that the massive amounts of chemicals being released by the cells in this raging battle inside BJ's body are causing his fever, chills, pain, confusion, swelling, and very fast heart rate. This is what is expected, and this is what they want to see. He also said that the knots in BJ's lymph nodes, which range from gum ball to pea size, are also an expected response. They will continue to manage his symptoms until the fight is over. Before he left, he talked to BJ, laying there with his eyes closed, and reassured him that they had his back in this. He asked BJ if he knew that. BJ responded with a very quiet "mm-hmm". The doctor was pleased that BJ was listening and responding appropriately. He said, "OK then BJ, give me a fist bump, and I'll see you tomorrow." BJ raised his fist, without opening his eyes, and they bumped fists. I'm watching this exchange with happy, relieved tears.