Thursday, May 31, 2012

Holding On with Faith

This past week was rough.  Reya's platelets were shot and she had to get her first platelet transfusion since July of last year.  Based on the amount of bruising she has had, I thought she might need them. The optimism her medical team had is waning.  Having her counts so low was really a blow to recent suggestions that her body was making a turn around, but we've remained prayerful and hopeful.

One thing we discussed with the Medical team was Mireya's Tacrilimus medication.  The prescription we received just prior to our trip seemed to be a very concentrated formulation.  It was apparent because of the sediment at the bottom of the bottle and it took a lot for us to keep it mixed.  It was a pain, but we noticed that her counts for that two week period were at the highest they had ever been all the way across the board.  When we returned, we had to get a new prescription of the Tac and her levels over the last few weeks have not been good.  In our minds, the only difference has been the medication.  So I called Westbury Pharmacy to 'share' our theory. Long story short, there are two ways to make the medication.   It is either compounded with tacrilimus powder or the actual tacrilimus capsules.  Based on my description the Pharmacist believes the bottle we had in Florida was mixed with capsules, which is not the preferred way to compound it because it requires a lot more work and steps to make. After checking the computer it was confirmed the medication we had while away was made with capsules, and every other time it's been made with the powder.  Imagine that, God is still revealing possible answers and solutions to that which cannot be figured out by the Specialists and Physicians.  So I asked them to humor me and make a bottle with capsules for Mireya, because we only have about 10 days to see a change in her counts or we would be facing another Bone Marrow Transplant.  The Pharmacist 'sounded' skeptical, but wanted to do whatever would make us happy.  She said 'We're the Pharmacist and our preference is to make it with powder, but Momma knows best'.  I'm having visions of Mother Gothel singing her jingle on Tangled.

We immediately started taking the new Tac anxiously awaiting our upcoming appointment to see if there would be any improvement.  We arrived in clinic and it was a matter of fact meeting of the minds.  I thought we had about 4-5 more good days, but yesterday was D-Day. Reya's counts would determine if a second transplant was necessary via this boost.  We talked about the Bolton theory of medicine.  The Head of Hemoc took a few minutes to politely listen and consider the probability of the 'mixture' being an issue, but she doubted it was a factor.  We're all on the same page.  No more time can be wasted. We cannot allow Mireya to dwell in this space any longer.  This 'boost' which up until this point has been a very casually discussed process was explained full spectrum and is 'on deck' as our next option.  It will entail a lot more than I understood initially.

Jalen's cells would be accessed through his blood as opposed to the bone marrow which will require him to have a port or a pic line inserted for the duration of time his blood is accessed (approximately 2 hours or more). It would be surgically inserted that morning and possibly removed the same day if all goes as planned.  Otherwise it will be left until it is deemed the boost was a success. I was of the impression Mireya would not have to undergo chemo, but this procedure will require some dosing of chemotherapy.  We will need to be on the Bone Marrow Unit for about 7-10 days.  This is a lot better than several weeks, but again my original expectation was very different than this newly painted picture.  You cross each bridge as you need to...perhaps in my mind and heart I wanted it to be a simpler process with less of an impact all the way around.  We're fighting for my girls life and we'll do and go through all that is necessary for that to happen.

The first count to come back was Mireya's platelets and they were up. Immediately there was bewilderment at how her platelets had increased, especially since she received a transfusion last week.  Platelets only last for about 7 days.  We were past that time frame, which means her body is making them and they have increased in one week's time by eight thousand.  About fifteen minutes later her other counts showed up.  There was a small drop in her red cell count, but other than that, all the other counts are up.  The TAC level almost doubled.  All I can say is God will work it out.  Don't ever count yourself out, even when it 'feels' like your hanging from the last rung of the ladder and your feet are dangling in the wind.  Trust your instinct, intuition or what we know as the soft, nudging, persistent voice of the Holy Spirit to draw our attention to the answer or what was not obvious.  The Department Head came to me before we left to tell me that we really have given her a new way to look at things and that given a similar situation she would definitely look at 'how' the medication is compounded because it could be a determining factor for another patient.  Thank you Lord.  Even in the midst of our situation, being armed with what seems to be a small thing could be so helpful to someone else.

Thank you for another victory!  Thank you for another week!  We trust and believe that Mireya's body will continue to create and increase in counts. We're looking forward to next week's visit and expecting another praise report.  Continue to pray for our family and for our sweet Warrior Princess.  We're still standing on the word of God.

God is Sovereign and is faithful to complete every good work he has started. Philippians 1:6


  1. Continuing to prayer for Mireya and the entire family.

    Van & Rasheeda

  2. April's friend SusanMay 31, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Hallelujah! So happy to hear this report. Yes, keep paying attention to the little details. I had a similar experience with my son's diluted insulin. Same pharmacy as usual, but a different pharmacist did the mixing. We got a vial of insulin that was not working at all. I pushed for details and discovered that the new pharmacist had put one solution first instead of the other. For my child, that one little change made a difference in the efficacy and the pharmacists noted to always mix the prescription the same way.

    Thank God for your diligence, and thank God for that trip to Florida where you had access to capsules instead of powder!

    Remember, "Lorenzo's oil" was developed by relentless parents searching for a cure for their child's disease. Already you have made a discovery that may help more children with Mireya's condition. God bless you always!

  3. Continuing in prayer for little Mireya and you all. -mimi

  4. God is always in the blessing business, will continue to pray for you and your family. Stay strong and I know you will. Love you much.


  5. Prayers for your family. Let's hope Mireya's growing body is working hard to continue to work as it should. Dana