Saturday, 8 May 2010

Gavin: 3 little pills

Steroids work by depressing the immune system and therefore reducing the symptoms normally associated with fighting infection such as temperatures and phlegm. As Sonny had paraflu, EBV and of course a recurrence of cancer, his body has been fighting hard for the last fortnight to try to get rid of whatever it classes as infection.
Starting steroids would help to alleviate these symptoms but can only be used if the doctors are sure his body is just trying to get rid of cancer and not another infection. This is because his own immune system can't fight the disease (which is why he's getting a new one with a bone marrow transplant) but is invaluable in the fight against other things. If used while he still has paraflu, it will continue to get worse without any symptoms and obviously lead to bigger and nastier complications.
So, to cut a very long story short, last night he was given his first dose of steroids as his blood results and infection control all show he's clear from paraflu. This morning he woke up temperature free, came off his oxygen and had a bowl of cereal. His pulse has dropped, he went for a short walk around the ward and hasn't stopped chatting. Although long term use is not an option and we do realise that steroids won't help the bigger picture, the change in him is remarkable. It helps all of us so much to see him comfortable and after the terrible time he's had lately it's a huge, huge relief just to have a smile on his face.
It's quite amazing how good the immune system is and how it can be manipulated by this incredible drug. I'll try to sneak a look at his drug chart tonight as where it says 'steroids' I'm convinced will be written 'powdered unicorn horn'.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,just checking in, it's late Saturday evening, and just so so pleased to read that you have had a good day.
    Sleep well Anderson family.
    Agt Nxxx