Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cycle 1

Last week began the "maintenance phase" of chemo, which is 8 cycles, 6 weeks each. Yes, 48 weeks, 32 of which require chemo. The appointment last week was uneventful, but seemed more difficult to face after the break in August. Clay didn't at all seem himself afterwards, complaining of headache and stomach pain. On Sunday he developed a fever, so he and JD went off to the ER. Six hours later, at 11 pm, they came home and ate a scrambled egg dinner. Clay's counts were high enough that they did not need to admit him, and he was given the routine order of antibiotics. Yesterday I took him to the clinic for the standard second dose of antibiotics. The bad news was that his blood counts dropped very low (neutropenia), which means his infection-fighting power is suppressed. This also means he can't start at preschool this week, which he was looking forward to as he and Grace will now be at the same school. So, in addition to all the pokes from the hospital and clinic, he got an additional blood-boosting shot (not a medical term I realize) in his arm which stung like a bee. We are hoping the fever does not return, and we can keep close to home until his blood counts are better. The doctors are hoping he can continue with the next appointment...

On to happier news. Clay gained 4.5 lbs and 1 inch in August! (When the doctor saw the chart this week she asked if he was wearing boots.) The MRI done in late August showed the main tumor has shrunk by 20% since chemo began. Our oncologist was pleased, and felt that besides being smaller, it looked less active overall. (again, not the medical term he used). No significant change in the spine cells. The next MRI is after two cycles of chemo, most likely in November.

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