Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Typical Treatment Day

Here's an overview of our day on November 24th - day 0 of round 3 of chemotherapy.  The 3 big girls stayed with grandma and grandpa that day, and Kirk spent part of the day working on site for a client, so it was quiet.  When the girls are there too, they'll keep busy  doing crafts, playing on the Wii, watching T.V., or playing board games.  It is actually quite a fun, relaxing day.  We limit "screen time" at home - but they can have as much during these days as they want. 

8:30 Arrive at the Cancer centre (oops - we were late.)
9:00 Blood draw.  This is only done on the first day.
9:05 IV inserted, hydration started.  This will run all day to flush the 2nd chemo drug (cyclophosphamide, or cyclo) through Kol's system faster, in order to minimize intestinal tract damage.  It also causes him to make frequent trips down the hall to the bathroom
9:15 Visit with Dr.  (neurological check, physical exam) (This only happens on Wednesdays, or day 0 of the treatment cycle.)
9:25 Kirk left to do some on-site work for a client.
10:00 Visited with the family of a child with leukemia who we've seen before at the centre.  
10:15 Met a child who had a medulloblastoma, also called an iPNET, 11 years ago, and who is suffering from some side effects of the treatment. 
11:35 The blood chemistry came back fine, so the pre-meds were started.  These run over 15 minutes, and include an anti-emetic and a steroid.
11:55 First chemo drug started.  It goes in over 15 minutes, too. (Kol only gets this drug on the Wednesday, or day 0 of treatment)
12:15 Second chemo drug started.  This one runs for an hour.  It is actually a combination of several drugs and includes an antidote to the chemo drug.  One of its metabolites can cause bleeding in the intestinal tract, so the antidote binds with that metabolite to prevent damage.
12:30 Lunch.
1:15 Cyclo finished, hydration continues.
1:00 Meet with the research associate regarding consent for COG registry.
2:00 Kirk got back.
3:30 Second dose of the antidote started.  This runs for 15 minutes.
4:00 The IV was finally disconnected from the PICC, the PICC was flushed.
4:10 The dressing protecting the PICC line was changed.  This is probably the most traumatic part of the day for Kolbjorn.
4:30 Leave the Cancer Center.
5:00 Arrive at grandma and grandpa's.
7:00 Kol got the 3rd dose of the antidote.  This dose is taken orally.  It is nasty stuff.
7:30 Kol got another dose of the anti-emetic.
8:00 Kol fell asleep on the couch.  He usually doesn't go to bed until around 9:30.

Then we go back the next day for almost the same thing.  The second day is slightly shorter, because the first chemo drug is not given that day, Kol doesn't see the Dr., and we don't need to wait for the blood chemistry results to begin the second chemo drug.

So that is a typical day of treatment,  It's not too exciting - almost boring, but still long and tiring.  We'll be glad when they're done.  Day 0 for the next cycle is December 22nd.  Kol is handling these treatments well, and we pray the second half will go as smoothly. 

Thank-you for praying for us.  Thank God, for what He is doing in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of your family, this is a busy time of year and adding your trips and appointments to the mix is added stress. You have been such a witness to all of us over the past few months....we are thankful for the Lord's faithfulness. Sending you a hug praying for His peace on your hearts.