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The Next Step

January 21, 2009

Papa & I have possibly recuperated, we are still tired, but feeling better. Isa has not wanted to take her medicine. She screams like she is being tortured. I wonder how long until we get the cops called. She just screams and screams. I didn’t taste it but the nurses said it tasted bitter. This process from here on out is Outpatient. It makes sense, but it just seems so odd. 

Medications for Isa:

Some of the following were given in the hospital, some are outpatient.

  • Intrathecal Cytarabine —Intrathecal means that it goes into her Cerebral Spinal Fluid. To get it there they puncture her lumbar area. Also called a Spinal Tap, but I have trouble calling it that. Reminds me too much of Michael Nessman, ( i think that is his name.) The first time she had this she was under a general anesthetic. She won’t have this one again, I assume until we go through the Second Induction period. which the docs now call something different, like Intensive or something. 
  • Vincristine—This is the actually chemotherapy round that earns her a bead of hope. is called an infusion. This probably the main reason that she had her Magic Button inserted.     She will receive a poke through the skin and the fluid will flow into the central line in her chest. According to my sheet, she will get VCR  three more times in the induction period.  
  • Dexamethasone (DEX)–This is the bitter pill to swallow. Yes, I mean literally. She has trouble getting it down. Honestly it is small enough for her to swallow. BUT, you tell that to a child. So we crush it into applesauce, oatmeal, honey or what not. In the hospital the other children had it in chocolate syrup. Isa didn’t seem to mind it so much in the first few days, BUT, this is now giving us problems. We’ve got to get it into her, but first we have to remember it.  Our schedules are off. Throughout her treatments she will have this or at least one other drug by mouth.
  • PEG-asparaginase (PEG-ASP)–On Monday, before they discharged us, this was the medicine they had to administer. Three nurses came into the room, and they started organizing syringes, and things. Previously our primary nurse, had applied a numbing cream. The nurses divided and conquered. One on each side of Isa’s bed, they held the syringe just above both thighs. One the count of three they punctured the skin simultaneously while Isa let out a blood curdling scream. Within a few minutes she was eating a popsicle and watching Dora.
  • Intrathecal Methotrexate (IT MTX)–Isa gets lucky on this one. As mentioned above, she gets this medicine through a lumbar puncture. Had she had blasts, the leukemia cells, in her CSF she would have received more of this type of treatment. Because she had no blasts in her CFS, she will receive two of these injections instead of four.

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