Last Monday Brennen had his monthly treatment at Children’s in Milwaukee. It was a short visit because he didn’t do the procedure where they put him to sleep. He only has to do it once every three months now. With his short treatment it allowed us to take AynsLeigh to the zoo for the first time and enjoy the day.
On our way home from Milwaukee I called Children’s to see what his blood labs looked like and asked if we needed to modify his medications at all. The nurse I spoke with said she didn’t have his ANC (number that gives a picture of his immune system’s strength) but said it was okay to keep his medications the same.
Tuesday morning I received a call from our Nurse Practitioner at Children’s and she said that Brennen’s ANC was 153 and we needed to hold chemo. Those words came as a shock to Jenny and I. Any ANC below 500 means his immune system is not able to fight off any infection that he may pick up. A normal person’s ANC is usually between 4,000-6,000. He has not had an ANC that low in well over 6 months! We were instructed to hold chemo and to try to keep him rested for his body to recover.
Hearing his ANC number that low brought back a lot of memories of a year ago. Memories of needing to keep Brennen away from public places and regularly checking his temperature to ensure he didn’t have a fever. Life was consumed with thinking about his health every moment of every day. Over the past few months Brennen’s hair has grown back, he has had a lot of energy, treatment at the hospital is once a month, and it has even felt a bit like “normal,” even if we can’t define what normal means. 🙂 With the drop in his ANC this week it has reminded me that the battle with leukemia is long from over. We still have over 2 more years of treatment and that means over 2 more years of living with the possibilities of hospitalization due to fever/infection.
This morning we went to our local lab for blood work and we praise God that his ANC is back up to 966! We are thankful his counts are back up and it seems, by God’s kindness, that we are out of the woods this time. We will continue to monitor him and the goal of this phase of treatment is to keep his ANC between 500-1500.
This week has been a reminder of how much we continue to need your prayers for Brennen. While he may not be hospitalized or in the beginning stages of treatment our dependence upon the Lord in prayer for healing and strength is continually needed.
As a family we were reading in Psalm 10 this morning and it was speaking of how we can tend to be prideful and say, “There is no God!” (Psalm 10:4) and we can fail to acknowledge Him when things are going well. We can easily think that our lives are in our control and we don’t need God. Yet, Psalm 54:4 reminds us, “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder [sustainer] of my life.” God is the giver of life (1 Timothy 6:13). He orders our steps (Proverbs 16:9). He has numbered our days (Psalm 139:16). May we in response pray Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
Thank you for continuing to pray for Brennen and our family. May God continue to grow our faith in Him as we pray He does in your lives.