Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Clinic Chronicles: Interim Maintenance, Day 40, Lollipops and Chemo

Clinic got off to a good start with Maren getting a lollipop from Nurse Crystal. Lollipops are a very special treat for her since she has trouble swallowing and we never give her stuff like this. So she lives it up while I watch her very closely and try to remember there are lots of medical professionals at the clinic =).

Her ANC was 1400 yesterday so that was pretty awesome. She was able to get her last dose of Interim Maintenance chemo, and we can know that she'll probably be okay in terms of infection patrol for the next day or 2 before the new chemo really kicks in.

The picture below is Maren getting her Methotrexate through this portable little IV machine. Pretty fancy stuff. The visit took a little over 3 hours due to us being overlooked initially, but I really can't complain when all I have to do is put her in the van, drive 30 minutes, and sit in a nice room for 3 hours to get a lifesaving treatment for my child (Of course, it's Maren that has endure all the yucky feelings of chemo, not me. I wish she didn't need all of this chemo nonsense, but I am so grateful that it's available to her.).

What's next? The dreaded 56-day Delayed Intensification is scheduled to begin September 1st. We'll be back to clinic weekly, if not more often. If her ANC and platelets are high enough she'll start out with a lumbar puncture, steroids, and a few other chemo meds. Some are things she has not had before and they can have pretty serious side effects (i.e., heart failure), and taken all together they pretty much crash her immune system. This means we'll be on tight restrictions for going out or having visitors, because something as simple as a cold or the flu could mean hospitalization and seriously put her life in danger. I'm not one for stirring up fear, but I am nervous about this next phase. Please pray that she will get through it smoothly, with no infections, no hospitalizations, bad side-effects, or steroid-induced diabetes. Thank you.

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Alison and her boys said...

I am definitely praying for you! I love you all so much! I hope and pray that this next phase is safe and successful!

Anonymous said...

She is beautiful and it sounds like you are all doing an amazing job supporting each other through this ... Think of you often and praying for a smooth treatment course.
Emily S. and Family

Lynn said...

We continue to pray for sweet, little Maren and all of you as you continue walking this journey.

Please continue to keep us updated on the goings on, anything that you may need or want and specific things we can pray for.

Our love and prayers bridge the distance!

Lynn and family

Laurie B. said...

Praying for Maren and for you and your family. I am so grateful that Maren has tolerated the meds so far and know that this is a positive marker for the future. Praying that this next phase goes smoothly for her. Germs......STAY AWAY!!!

Heather said...

Emily, thanks for the update and the lollipop. You need to post a picture of Grandma Sharon too, or I will forget what she looks like...xo

Heather in California

Anonymous said...

Delayed Intensification is pretty intense! We almost made it through without too much trouble. The fevers and low platelets and RBC were our problem.

It is a long haul, but for us the second half was tougher. The Ara-c and Cytoxan kicks ... well, you know. It is tough.

Good luck to you!