Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ara-C and Thioguanine

Thioguanine--a medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells.  Austin is supposed to take it for 2 weeks.   We go to the pharmacy, give the pharmacist the prescription, and give Austin the pills.  Sounds simple enough right? If only it was that easy.  We took the script to the pharmacy at Primary's only to be told they didn't have it in stock.  No problem they say, just take it to another pharmacy.  So on the way back to Grandma's house we stopped at a Walgreens and dropped off the script.  2 hours later we went back to get the pills only to be told again that they didn't have them in stock.  So we (Kevin and I)  got on the phone and called every pharmacy in northern Utah.  The only pharmacy that said they had the pills was in Bountiful, an hour and a half North of where we were.  The others all said they could order the pills but would not get them in for a few days.  So I called the on-call Oncologist at Primary's to see if we could delay giving the pills to Austin.  She says no, we must start them immediately.  So at about 8pm Kevin drove to Bountiful, waited in line for over an hour (because apparently that pharmacy is the only one in the state that has meds?), then drove back to Orem.  I had to wake up poor Austin to take the first of these magical, fancy pills.  Oh and bonus!  Kevin had to pay $243 for 23 pills...awesome.


Austin loves legos--thanks Grandma for the spaceship!

Thioguanine--my nemisis

To add insult to injury, when we got home from Salt Lake I went to give Austin his Thioguanine and noticed that there didn't seem to be enough pills left for the number of days needed.  When I looked at the directions on the bottle they did not match the directions I was given in the clinic.  So another call to the clinic this time to confirm that I wasn't going batty and that the pharmacist had indeed misread the script and shorted us 4 pills.  4 lousy pills.  Thankfully I discovered the shortage in time to get another prescription and get it to Walgreens in time for them to order the 4 pills.

All the gear needed for home Chemotherapy

Chemo in the mail

Too busy reading to get his blood pressure taken

Waiting for the doctor

With Dr. Marsden

Austin and a family friend--sporting the same hair do!

Besides all the Thioguanine drama, Austin is also getting Ara-C this week.  Ara-C is short for Cytaranine, a chemotherapy drug that kills cancer cells by interfering with DNA synthesis.  He gets it IV push in his port.  Thankfully I can give him this med at home.  Unfortunately, because it is a toxic drug, I have to use gowns and gloves to protect myself and dispose of everything properly.  Seems like much to do about nothing, but it's just one more hoop to jump through.  Austin hates leaving his port accessed, but it's better than poking him every day.

Home Chemo

Sleeping with Hershey

Wiped out
Austin felt pretty good most of the week.  He was able to go to school 4 out of 5 days.  We saw Dr. Marsden again and everything looked good (good meaning no unexpected bad things...all the expected bad things just have to be dealt with).  Austin has had increasing nausea and vomiting and we have been accessing the nausea arsenal to try to keep it under control.  He is also more pale and tires easily.  His Hematocrit this week was 25 so he may need a blood transfusion in the next couple of days.    Again, not unexpected.  Low blood counts are very common in this phase.  Austin's ANC was 800 and Platelets were 193.  

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