Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The End Of Interim Maintenance 1

Austin had a really rough week after the last round of Chemo.  He had nausea and vomiting for three days and was miserable.  The Oncologist wanted him to get a fluid bolus and some IV Ativan, but when the Home Health Nurse came to access his port, she poked twice and couldn't get the needle in the right place. The second poke was so painful that Austin refused to let her try a third time.  I agreed to let him go 24 more hours and if he wasn't improved we would try again.  The next morning Austin jumped out of bed and proclaimed he was totally fine and ready to go to school.  I know he was pretending to feel fine just to avoid being poked again, but after making him promise to call me if he threw up at school, I agreed to let him go.  He managed to keep enough fluid down that finally he began to feel better.

It was a very frustrating few days so I talked to the nurse at the Oncology Clinic in Salt Lake to see what we could do to prevent the extreme nausea and vomiting this time around.  So game plan in hand, we were ready to complete the last round of chemo in Interim Maintenance 1.  Austin was really anxious and worried about having his port accessed.  Thankfully, this time the nurse got the needle in the right place with just one poke.  His labs were drawn and sent.  His ANC was 1800 so we were given the go ahead for chemo.

Enjoying a smoothy

Chocolate chip pancakes before Chemo, not too shabby
 Austin and I celebrated the successful morning by going out to lunch.  Austin chose chocolate chip pancakes and was very excited when they showed up, each one bigger than his head.  Of course he couldn't even finish one of them, but they were yummy!
Smiling through the mask
 We headed over to Austin's Pediatrician's office to get his usual checkup.  He was 43.1 kilos this week, down another kilo.  I can tell he is feeling better since he has lost most of the steroid weight.  The visit went well and we then headed to the Peds floor for chemo.
Playing with the stethoscope, I instructed him to let me know if he heard my heart stop.

Getting assessed by nurse Justin
Since Austin's port was still accessed, getting the chemo was a breeze.  He got a new anti-nausea medication, called Kytril, that hopefully will help avoid the misery of throwing up for days.  The plan is to leave Austin's port accessed so I can administer his medications.  I will give him him a fluid bolus for one or two days depending on how he is feeling, as well as the Kytril, Ativan, Zofran, and Benadryl if he needs it.  It's a lot to keep track of and I am again grateful for my nursing background that gives me the basic knowledge of all of this.  I feel for those parents that are thrown into this cancer world without any preparation.  I suppose they just learn quickly.   I just hope all this nonsense helps and Austin feels better this time around.
Our arsenal--the balls are full of Normal Saline that infuse over 2 hours.  

Feeling crappy and getting a bolus
 So we are done with Interim Maintenance 1.  Wahoo!  One more phase down and one step closer to being done. We now get a 2 week break before starting Delayed Intensification on the 28th.  Conveniently, this break falls over Christmas so we are very excited to enjoy the holiday without worrying about Chemo.  
We get an ornament every year that reflects the year we have had.  This was an obvious choice for 2012

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