Thursday, August 23, 2007

Not Neutropenic

Parker is currently playing by himself in his toy corner as mommy tries to get Parker his lunch ready. As he sits there by himself, he lifts the necklace of differently coloured thimbles over his head and around his neck. However, it only remained there for a brief second as mommy walked into his play area with a piece of cheese in hopes that she could have him eat something while he played. It was a couple of minutes ago that mom gave up on that idea and now the little monkey sits beside me on the floor flipping through a book as I lay here on the bed writing today's article.

A lot has happened in the past couple of days. Parker had more blood taken, along with some bone marrow. But just as exciting, Parker met a new friend here at the residence. Where to begin? How about with his blood results?

Parker's Blood Results
It was a week ago today that we found out that Parker's white blood count had decreased. This was mainly because his neutrophils had decreased to what they were before he was given a mega dose of IgG to dilute the antibodies that were destroying his neutrophils in the peripheral blood. Several of the other numbers did not coincide with the decrease, so we were not really sure if this was just a fluctuation in the recent trend we had seen in the past weeks or if something had happened and Parker's neutrophils were once again being destroyed.

I am happy to report that it was just a fluctuation and for the first time since having his chemotherapy Parker is no longer neutropenic. Once again, Parker finally has 1500 neutrophils per unit of blood. We now hope that the trend continues and when they do another test to see if Parker's blood is still positive for antibodies to neutrophils it comes back negative. If it doesn't, I could see them doing another mega dose of IgG.

Parker's Bone Marrow Aspiration
Yesterday marked the date for Parker for the three month bone marrow aspiration that is done on patients that have taken part in the gene therapy here in Italy. The first bone marrow aspiration indicated that Parker had a very small number of cells in his bone marrow that had a working ADA gene in it. When the second month bone marrow aspiration was done everyone was expecting that Parker had completely lost his engraftment and the gene therapy had failed but the results displayed that Parker had not. His engrafted had increased very slightly and as a result we once again had hope.

Yesterday, one small whole was placed in Parker's hip to remove enough bone marrow to test it for the quantity of the different cells currently present in his marrow. With yesterday's blood results we feel confident that there should be some positive results coming from this test. I am pretty sure that we will not hear any of the results until next week when our doctor returns to the San Raffaelle.

Parker's New Friend
Everyone is pretty aware that Parker has yet to experience what it is like to play with another child. For one, it is kind of difficult here in Italy since we do not know anyone else with a child Parker's age, and secondly, making sure that Parker's environment is germ-free also interferes with Parker being able to be around other children.

That said, a couple of days ago we were walking the desolate hallways here on the top floor of the residence and to our surprise we ran into a woman and her 16 month little boy. To say that Parker was very interested in our discovery would have been an understatement. It is not very often that Parker is walking and he sees someone else like him in a stroller.

Today, we decided that we would let Parker play in the hallway with his new little friend without actually making physical contact. We know that most children are usually not too interested with playing with other children at this age but we were unsure what Parker would be like since he does not normally see or get to play with other toddlers.

Parker had a blast. When he was not trying to talk to his friend he would kick the soccer ball that I had brought out for them to play with. Unfortunately, Parker's friend was not too interested in playing together especially since it meant that they would have to share the ball. With Parker physically stronger than his new friend it was very difficult for him to keep the ball all to himself. So, the result. He began to cry.

Parker stood there looking at his new friend crying at the top of his lungs. The ball lay there between them. You could see the confusing look on Parker's face. What's going on, he probably thought to himself. My wife, crouched beside Parker and me on one knee stood still, waiting to see how Parker would respond. Then it happened. Parker, while staring at his new friend, opened his mouth and let out the biggest yell he could. His friend responded how? By crying louder. Now, even more confused than before, Parker decided to let out an even bigger bellow. Ahhhhhhhhhh! He shouted. Still nothing. By this time, I think the mother had realised that Parker was actually mocking her son. So, in one scoop, she picked him up and put him into his stroller and said that today they will go and they can try again tomorrow. As the elevator door closed behind them you could see that Parker was upset. Not because his playtime was over but that his new friend got to ride in the elevator instead of him.


Nana said...

My darling little Parker man:

We are so happy that your numbers have gone up and are very confident that your bone marrow aspiration results will be positive.

You will have lots more chances to play with other little friends. This is all totally new to you and you will soon discover how to share and share alike.

We love you and miss you more each minute and just pray for a speedy and safe return.

With much love amd many kisses,
Nana and Gaga

Auntie Natalie said...

Parker Pants,

What exciting news on many levels! I am so happy that your numbers have gone up and you are no longer neutropenic...YIPPEE!!

And a new very exciting as well...I bet that you will be best of buddies in no time! Sharing toys is hard at any age...maybe next time he will bring as soccer ball as well and you can teach him how to kick.

I bet that your new little friend is marvelling about how you are so strong and smart! Keep playing little ones you will have so much fun together!!

I love you oodles and oodles!

Auntie Natalie xoxoxoxo

nonna said...

Hey Parker,

What great news! We are so happy to hear about your numbers going up and know that everything is going to be positive.

Now Parker, how excitig was that, that you got to have a playday with a new friend. This is only the beginning of playdates and new friendships.

Hurry home DesLauriers we miss you.

love you tons
miss you even more.

Nonno & Nonna

Kari said...

Hi Parker!!

My Mommy said that your numbers are increasing and that you are doing great. Yahoo for you!!

Has your Mommy read you "Oh the Places You'll Go" yet? My Mommy says your Mommy loves that story, so I bet she has already read it to you. I know that you are going to do lo9ts of amazing things when you grow up too, Parker. Just you wait & see!

I am happy to hear that you have met a friend to play with sometimes over ther in Italy. I can't wait for you to come back and be better so that we can play together!!!

My fingers are crossed that your numbers keep going up!