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Vincristine

March 15, 2009

Vincristine, brand name Oncovin

The tall, affable nurse injected this chemo after she accessed the port, drew blood and pushed a syringe full of saline into Isa. This drug works on the cells that reproduce quickly—cancer cells, bone marrow and the lining of the intestines. It can be used, of course, with ALL but also with treatment for nephroblastoma (Wilms tumor, a kidney tumor common in children)

Vincristine is a vesicant.  A vesicant is a chemical that causes extensive tissue damage and blistering if it escapes from the vein.  The nurse or doctor who gives Vincristine must be carefully trained.  If you notice pain, redness or swelling at the IV site while you are receiving Vincristine sulfate, alert your health care professional immediately

Our nurse, with 18 years experience, has been injecting this medicine into children for  years. She seems adept at doing it, yet, Riley and other medical administrators have devised a new locking mechanism that goes on the end of the port access to provide extra safety for the employee.

Interestingly, this plant has been used in herbal and Chinese medicine for ages, (even though I’ve never studied it) Chang chun hua, Catharanthus roseus.

Isa’s Main Side Effects

  • abdominal cramping
  • hair loss
  • change in how the kids walk
  • tired, “sick” feeling
  • feeling warm to touch, but having the temperature read lower. 
    • This one I can NOT explain, but after each round this definitely happened.
  • during Induction she complained of her “mouth” hurting, which may have been her jaw… hard to tell with a 3 yr old.

Warnings

  • ONLY use aceteminophen NOT aspirin or ibuprofen to stop pain when taking this drug.
  • Toxicity can develop
  • Some problems are dose related. I haven’t checked her dosage but I will!!!
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. liz iten permalink
    March 16, 2009 6:42 pm

    I just wanted you and your family to know that there are stangers out there praying for you. I wanted to tell you two things. One I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May ’07. My kids were 2 and 3. I had five surgeries and I am doing just fine. The second thing is that a friend of mine had a 2 year old daughter diagnosed with leukemia. She endured everything that Isa is going through. She is now 16 and is doing just perfect. She also does not remember much about the treatments only bits and pieces
    All you can do is hang on and take each day one by one. You and your little girl are in my prayers.

    Sincerely,
    Liz Iten

  2. Deadra aka Demie permalink
    March 16, 2009 10:42 am

    – jeez – for some reason I really hurt for you today – I am thinking of us as 10th 11th 12th graders who would never have imagined this pain – I think of you 4 every day and I pray for the greater good every day – I will donate all I can – I cant imagine the financial stress this must incur – you have enough to worry about, we cant take away all the worry but we can do our best to lessen the financial stress – I hope it feels good to knowat I love you, and that I love all in your family through OSMOSIS!!! HAHA! Anyway – later- D

    • March 16, 2009 11:49 am

      Everything feels like pain in high school! This isn’t even on the radar at that point. Think of fundraisers! Or other ways to help. Someone said, “i’d want to sit on the couch smelling their hair.” And that pretty much describes it. Thanks for the well wishes.

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