07 May, 2012

Chink in the Armor


     Robert has been doing fairly well.  We've experienced a few rough weeks in April, like we haven't seen in a while.  He has seemed a little more sickly with a chronic raspy cough, diminished energy, and an increase in general pain and discomfort.  

    Fortunately, the docs seem to have found the culprit.  Unfortunately, my little trooper has one more thing to deal with.   It seems that Robert has developed an IgG deficiency. IgG is short for Immunoglobulin. Which according to Ben is a mortal enemy of Spiderman, but more accurately is a type of antibody molecule created by plasma B cells. Basically these molecules contribute greatly to secondary immune response.  This means that when we gauge his immunity through cellular counts (CBC/ dif), we are not getting the entire picture.  Because those cells present are not functioning quite properly.  Sounds eerily familiar to the explanation for Leukemia, doesn't it? 

     This condition is certainly not unheard of in kids undergoing extensive chemo.  And can be attributed to the vast array of poisons we've seen fit to pump through his little body throughout the past year.  (*insert guilt here).  It's not as bad as it sounds as there is a standard treatment, and at least we have a cause for April's decline.  From now on, when Robert visits clinic he will receive IVIG transfusions.  I hate to think that after his spinal tap, and after his IV chemo, he now has another protocol.  But in the scheme of things...we'll just throw it on the pile with the rest of the things that we regret he must endure.  I'm grateful for competent physicians that can detect a problem, diagnose it, and provide a solution.  We are truly blessed in that regard. The transfusions should get his immunity back up, and get him back up to speed in no time.    

     Basically, the IVIG is an IV infusion of the Immunoglobulin that he is lacking.  It is gathered from thousands of different plasma samples.  So cheers to the scores of college kids that are selling their plasma for beer money!  Keep up the good work!

Now a quick note on Robert's favorite topic of the moment...SUMMER CAMP!

      He is headed off to camp Sunshine in a few weeks, and is very excited.  We all went down last weekend and visited the facility for a day of fun.  What an amazing place.  Its a full-on, old school summer camp geared for kids undergoing some medical ordeal.  They are stocked with everything needed for an amazing summer camp experience.  Not limited to; cabins, canoeing, fishing, hiking, swimming and zip lines.  And to top it off, a medical facility with all of the equipment and medications these campers may need, staffed voluntarily by the doctors and nurses of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  If you want to see people doing God's work or an organization worthy of your donation that does good out of pure kindness, then you need not look any further than Camp Sunshine.

That's all for now, more to follow when I darn well feel like it.  -Bob