Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What’s In a Number?

Our next three years will revolve around a number. The number is called an ANC (absolute neutrophil count). ANC is a measure of how many neutrophils are present in your blood.

So by now you are probably wondering what the heck is a neutrophil? A neutrophil is a type of white blood cell that help fight infection.

The chemotherapy Ezra is receiving will often lower his ANC, drastically so sometimes.


A normal healthy persons ANC is usually between 1500-2000. Let’s say you get sick though and are fighting an infection, then your ANC would climb higher.

Ezra’s ANC has at 4,000 at one point when he was fighting off his port infection. However, a really high ANC can also be a sign of relapse.

This number will dictate our lives. Right now Ezra’s blood is tested weekly. Last week his ANC was 1600, a very good number. With a number that good, I feel comfortable taking him out to places like the grocery store, outdoor parks, etc. 

During Induction (the 1st phase of Ezra’s treatment) his ANC dropped to 300. It was during that time that he caught that blood infection. There was just nothing there to help him fight it off.

An ANC below 500 is called neutropenia. During neutropenia Ezra’s system is greatly compromised, there is little to no infection fighting cells present.   If he does have to leave the house, he has to wear a mask. The only reason he would go out during those times would be for a Dr.s appt.

I fully expect Ezra to be neutropenic again, I am just enjoying the time that he isn’t! Just another look into what our lives have become.


  1. Life by the numbers... Good thing that boy absolutely marinates in your love. Prayers for you...

  2. Kayla had an ANC of 0 for a week. She had to be hospitalized for fevers. They never found out the reason but it still sucked having to stay for 3 days both times.

  3. God Bless you for learning so much! I know you have, want to. Hang in there. Times are getting better. Your realistic, but please try to stay optimistic. Helps!

  4. I will continue to pray for Ezra. He really looks cute in the pictures. May God continue to keep him well.