Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good or Bad news...

Depends how you look at it.

Dr. Al came up from St. Jude. Olivia has what they call evolving leukemia. She doesn't have "full-blown" leukemia, yet. It's more or less premature leukemia.

On one hand - this is great news. She can have time to recover from heart surgery. They won't treat with chemo until she actually has leukemia, so there is no rush for her to get healthy (not that we want her to take her time).

On the other hand - now we just sit and wait for the leukemia to come. How frustrating. That's totally not one of those fun anticipation feelings. There is an itsy bitsy possibility that she will always have evolving leukemia and it won't develop into actual leukemia. It could be weeks, months, or years before she actually develops it. If I understand it correctly, 2%-3% of Olivia's cells have leukemia. They don't consider it leukemia or treat with chemo until it hits around 20%. St. Jude will continue to monitor her blood work. If there are no significant changes, they will do another bone marrow biopsy before she gets off the ventilator. Then we will go from there. So, as of now, the leukemia is on the back burner and we can concentrate on healing from surgery. Oh, they did determine that she has the M-7 type of AML (sounds like a firework to me). Anyway, it's either caused by an abnormality in chromosome 7 or it causes an abnormality in the chromosome 7.

They actually removed her 2 chest tubes today (used for draining fluid from the heart). It's always good when they take things out instead of put things in. She did get her feeding tube put in and a third antibiotic started just to keep her "protected." They have been going up and down on her ventilator settings and on her blood thinner. She isn't tolerating it well when they suction her, but as long as no one touches her, she does great.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot of information for you guys. I think it's great news!! My prayer is that Olivia can recover quickly and you guys can have some quality family time this summer. You sure deserve it!!!! Still praying!!!
MB

Leesa Palmer said...

I hope God makes the leukemia dissipate just like he did with the cystic hygroma. Olivia is such a fighter that I bet it will happen. I'm glad you received some good news.

Leesa

Ardell Thompson said...

Even though I couldn't get on the blog to see what was going on - good thoughts were being sent your way. I would out weigh the bad with the good news. I continue to pray for strength for your whole family. Ardell

Anonymous said...

The Stegall family continues to pray for Olivia (and her family, doctors and nurses). She sounds like a fighter! We hope that you gain strength from all of the prayers you are receiving!

Love, Erin, James, and Evan

Anonymous said...

The Stegall family continues to pray for Olivia (and her family, doctors and nurses). She sounds like a fighter! We hope that you gain strength from all of the prayers you are receiving!

Love, Erin, James, and Evan

Anonymous said...

Well....some good news with the iffy news......St Judes is the best and I know they will keep their eyes peeled for any signs of illness.Glad to hear that Olivia is cooperating today:)
Linda Schulthes

Charles K said...

hey guys...just found out about ur blog this week from my dad and joann and have been glued to it ever since wondering whats up with Olivia. My prayers are with her and u guys for a speedy recovery! I'm glad she'll be able to recover from her heart surgery before she starts her chemo...one thing to overcome at a time...

Love Chuck

threekidchaos said...

The waiting for the cancer to become full blown will stink from a planning standpoint, but at least Olivia will have plenty of time to heal. Maybe you'll even be able to spend sometime at home this summer!

Praying for a restful day for all of you.

K~

debbie b said...

Just got your blog site from Mom & Dad (via Aunt Joan)- Wow, what a week it's been for Olivia and the rest of you. Glad to see surgery went well- we'll keep praying for Olivia's continued healing and recovery- what a little trooper!We pray that God gives you unrelenting strength and faith to see you through. Thinking and praying for you always. Love, Debbie

Judy said...

We will have no fear of bad news; our hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
Psalm 112:7