Day -9: Fludarabine Starts

Today we start Fludarabine, which is Zoe’s 2nd major chemotherapy medicine in the Reduced Intensity Conditioning (RIC) regimen. Fludarabine is designed to eliminate fast growing cells, any fast growing cells. Cells in the bone marrow are very fast growing so they are what will be most affected. Campath is a drug that specifically targeted Lymphocytes (virus fighting cells that are part of any normal immune system), whereas the Fludarabine will eliminate everything in the marrow. It may also finish off the last of her hair, but Maya was nearly bald until she was a year old, so we’re used to that.

It’s considered a well-tolerated medication, so we are hopeful that we won’t see anything at all this week, other than a drop in cell counts and perhaps some fatigue. So far that’s been the case.

Zoe’s counts came back up a bit over the weekend:

[spoiler name=”Click to see counts”]

  • WBC: 2.9
  • Hemo: 9.5
  • RBC: 3.12
  • Platelets: 730
  • Lymphocytes: 3%


We’ll continue Fludarabine until Friday. Also on Friday Zoe will get an additional Central Line placed, which means surgery. Hopefully the last major one.

We’ll be admitted to 5200, the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant ward on Friday after surgery, and we will then begin the last medications before the transplant itself next Wednesday.

Zoe is handling all of this as well or better than we are. She’s a fantastic baby.


5 thoughts on “Day -9: Fludarabine Starts

  1. I loved the video. She is such a happy baby through everything she is going through! Is she staying at the hospital now or is she still on outpatient!

    Hope she continues to respond well to all of her medications!

    Love you and praying for you all,


  2. We don’t always understand the procedures but know that Zoe is in very capable hands. We are counting the days until she will be over her treatments and back home and healthy. Thanks again for the updates, we look forward to them and read them every day.
    You all are in our nightly prayers.
    Love to all, Nannie and John

  3. We’ve been following Zoe’s journey closely as we’re going through the same thing with our little one Emse at Great Ormond Street in London. We’re a couple of days into the Campath treatment so are a couple of weeks behind Zoe. Thanks for writing this blog, it’s a major achievement given what you obviously having to go through at the moment, however it’s very it’s much appreciated – your story is so similar to ours. Remember that each day that they get through of their treatment is a day closer to getting them home with their families where they belong.

    Jason and Kelly in London

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