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First Labs After Lock-down

November 5, 2010

Yesterday I took Isa to the local hospital for lab work where we had a different experience. First of all, I saw, like, uh, three people I know, had some small talk and got excellent service. Not that I get shoddy service anywhere else, but it just had a feeling of something different.

I accessed Isa at home, yes, the oncologists know that I did this. We determined that it would likely be as easy as having someone else do it. And it was. In January when we moved back home, two hours away from the hospital, we decided that if we needed to draw labs that we’d take care of the accessing. Amazing how easy it is really. This of course is with a willing patient. The nurses who’ve accessed Isa during a raging screaming fit have my admiration.

It took us longer to get registered at the front desk than it did to get the blood drawn. 20 minutes later and I was walking out with the paper in hand. Of course they  didn’t calculate the ANC for us, so I got on ye olde google, and calculated it myself. 3410.  Holy shite, 3410.  This was confirmed by the oncologists and they determined that Isa will resume chemotherapy at 50% dosage.

Here I am tempted to write  **woot**  which of course signifies a happy feeling.  This is where I’d love to have comments from other cancer parents. What is it with this excitement when chemo is increased to normal dosages and the fear when it is gone or decreased?   I think of it like this.  The reason the treatment is two and a half years is to prevent the cancer from returning. If we’re nine or 10 months out from the end of treatment then the cancer could return. So more chemo is the answer.

so..WOOT  more chemo.


Isa is at the babysitter’s today, with an ANC of 3400 why not eh?, but if she were here, I’d go hug her.

Thanks for reading.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann Brown permalink
    November 5, 2010 10:11 pm

    Okay, so I’m gone for a week and look at everything going on with you. You were just waiting for me to be away from a computer, weren’t you (see how I’ve managed to make Isa’s leukemia treatment all about me — it takes some skill).

    They let you access her? I’m jealous. They’ve let me do many things, but never access her. I bet Elke would be better with me accessing her. I seriously think half the issue is their fear and anxiety about the procedure. Maybe more than half.

    As for the woot for more chemo: I have been feeling the same way. Elke is currently on 50% of methotrexate and 75% of 6MP. We haven’t been able to go to more than 75% on one without her crashing and having to start from scratch all over again for months. But I think my feelings have changed re this. At the beginning of LTM, I actually appreciated the chemo breaks, assuming Elke wasn’t too sick, and resented the subsequent increases in chemo. Now that the finish line is in sight, I’ve realized that I want them to pump as much chemo into her as possible, in anticipation of going OT and then really seeing whether we really “cured” her (do they ever say they’re “cured”?). So “woot” for more chemo, when you realize that the chemo is going to stop soon enough and then there will be nothing there to hold the monster at bay, if the monster’s still around.

    Okay, didn’t mean to get all depressing on you. But Elke’s OT in three months, and these thoughts abound. We’re looking forward to going up to — wait for it — a whole 75% of both chemos, perhaps next week. Haven’t been there since late last winter, I believe.

    Can’t wait for this all to be over. Elke’s hair is falling out yet again (every third vincristine dose seems to do it for her in LTM). Bummer.

    • November 12, 2010 1:48 pm

      Lo siento chica. Not sure where that spanish came from, but some how saying I’m sorry in spanish makes it seem different. I feel it. What you’re talking about. Being away from the computer, the blog or the caring bridge site then coming back to something. I understand that feelings change from here to there. OT is scary. Is it still there? We’ve had a saying in our family for a long time related to this. “The cancers gone dude.” I am guessing that I said this one time, likely to the kids. Not sure why I call my hubs and kids dude, but I do. I only accessed her at home because the hospital is so far away. They trusted me for some reason to do it. I got Isa to quit screaming with stickers. Everytime she allowed accession easily she got a sticker toward ballet shoes. It worked. Sorry about the hair! That is intense.

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