Saturday, April 10, 2010

Second Leg of Delayed Intensification

Our upfront apologizes for the long post.... we were without a computer for a while and have a lot to capture!

On Thursday, Colin started the second half of delayed intensification. The new chemo drugs for this phase are targeted on the bone marrow. We expect Colin to need transfusions for red blood cells and probably a transfusion for platelets as well. His ANC will also go down. This is expected as this is the last intense phase of chemo before starting maintenance therapy. The goal is to destroy any undetectable traces of leukemic cells from his body.

The day started with fasting and when we arrived at clinic at 8:30, blood was drawn. As we were waiting for the results we took our usual trip to Kasey's Corner library and gathered our reading material. After an exam and a chat with the nurse, Colin's counts were in and his ANC increased from last week to 800, 50 points above the minimal threshold necessary to start treatment. We quickly made our way into the infusion room where we were greeted by one of Colin's favorite nurse's. Colin choose his favorite spot and we setup camp for the day.

Colin's port didn't want to cooperate so it took a couple adjustments and some fluid (aka tuby juice) to get a blood return. He received a spinal tap with methotrexate and once again he made Mommy and Daddy very proud, talking and giggling through the procedure with limited tears.

When the procedure was finished, Colin then received a lot of hydration by IV in preparation for the next chemotherapy drug, Cytoxan. As this drug is harsh on the bladder and kidneys, extra hydration is necessary prior to administration. Once he was fully hydrated he received Cytoxan through IV. He also received a third chemo drug, Cytarabine which was given through an IV push. The final step of the afternoon was three hours of additional hydration so we ended closing the joint at 5pm.

That evening Daddy enjoyed a night out with his parents, sister, Gigi, Aunt Ginny and Nanny at Westbrook Lobster to support the Kasey Rose Foundation. Back on the home front Colin started a new oral chemo drug, Thioguanine, which he doesn't mind taking crushed up diluted in juice .. thanks ALL mom's for the advice.

The home nurse visits started on Friday and ran through the weekend. She administered the next 3 doses of Cytarabine which was given through an injection in Colin's leg. Mommy made sure the site was good and numb with Emla prior to the nurse arriving. Colin did a great job, picked out his own band aide (elmo) and was off and playing in no time.

Next scheduled clinic visit is Thursday.

On the Maddie front she is officially on the move .. rolling and creeping (pushing back on the hardwood floor) to anything and everything. It's just the matter of days before she's crawling because she gets up on all fours and rocks. While sitting in the wagon with Colin last weekend she took a handful of his cheerios and well the rest is history she wants nothing to do with baby food. It's also time to lower her mattress because she was sitting up after her nap yesterday. Is she really 8 months old already?

On Easter morning, Colin and Maddie received the motorized jeep (pictured in the last post) from our neighbors. Colin is the hottest kid in the neighborhood riding this thing and it only took him a day to learn how to drive it. What a generous gift. The smiles are priceless, thank you!

On March 30th, Colin lost his doctor, Diana Beardsley. She was the doctor who diagnosed Colin and was his primary oncologist right up until her unexpected passing. While Mommy and Daddy took this very hard we now know that Colin has another special person looking over him. When Mommy and Daddy were asked to share something special about Dr. Beadsley we each had a little something to say ...
  • Ringing in the new year for 2010 will always be remembered. Colin awoke with a fever 2 minutes before midnight on New Years Eve. We promptly called the clinic for instructions. Dr. Beardsley was on call and she was wonderful, reassuring us and keeping us calm. Rather than directing us straight to the Emergency room, she spoke to us every hour throughout the night to monitor how he was doing. Her reassuring and compassionate manner will always be remembered.
  • It didn't take Colin long to associate people in white lab coats as "scary". As soon as Dr. Beardsley heard about this, she always remembered to remove her coat before approaching and talking to or examining him. Just another simple, yet thoughtful act that will not be forgotten.

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