Counts Today

Julia was so happy going to clinic today. Julia appropriately sang Hakuna Matata from the Lion King as she sat in the waiting and exam rooms. “It means no worries for the rest of your days…” – Julia’s voice filled the rooms with her optimism and a joy for everything she does. It is contagious. Julia was especially excited about sharing her “fortune teller” with everyone. For those that don’t know, the “fortune teller” is a pyramid folded paper with colors and numbers written on the triangle spaces. After the person selects a series of colors and numbers, the triangle flap is lifted to tell a “fortune”. Kesha, Megan and Dr. Julie, all got to hear Julia tell them that their future is filled wi

Update after Chemo

Julia is feeling a bit run down and queasy in the morning before she takes her Zofran. She had a flu shot on Friday, so her right arm is a bit sore, only to get an injection of Neulasta on Saturday in her other arm. The “tickle cream” made it much easier. It is amazing that Julia gets her blood drawn with no worry or use of the magic cream, but the injections make her nervous. She tells us it is easier to get the blood taken out then to get medicine. Mom and Dad had to get flu shots this weekend too. The pro she is, Julia gave us instructions on how to be brave. “Tell the nurse to count to three. When the counting starts, shut your eyes and blow out on three. I know you can do it.” Julia hea

Counts Are Up and Round 3 Begins

Julia was a bit nervous today going to clinic. The last round of chemo followed her surgery to place the new port. Julia was very worried about having her port accessed for the first time. The surgeon had left it accessed after her surgery, so Julia was not aware when it was done. It has also been some time since she had a port and she did not quite remember how it would feel. Before we left for clinic, we placed some “tickle” cream to numb the skin over Julia’s port. When we arrived, the first order of business was for Julia to get a blood test. She said that she wanted to have the test taken from her arm, rather than from her port. She was afraid to get her “tubey” (what she calls the port

A Week of Testing

This week brought a week of tests for Julia. On Monday, Julia had a blood test to check her counts. In addition, she had the first of a series of tests to monitor her hearing. One of the side effects of Carboplatin is hearing loss. Julia will have many tests while getting this chemo to watch for any change in her hearing. Monday’s blood work brought a lower platelet count of 53, along with lower hemoglobin and ANC (660). Dr. Stern explained that we will need to continue to monitor Julia counts. In week 2 post chemo, the Neulasta will wear off and with that Julia’s counts could continue to drop. So back to clinic on Wednesday we will go. Wednesday brought another blood test. Unfortunately, Ju

Good Counts -Wk 1 Post Chemo

Julia had a clinic visit and exam today. As usual, she was so brave with the blood draw. She gives precise directions to the nurse – “count to 3 slowly before inserting the needle, so I can shut my eyes and take a deep breath; also, count to 3 before taking out the needle and use gauze to stop the blood”. There needs to be a check of what “character” will be on the Band-Aid, so she has the right one for the day. Today was a Looney Tunes day. All Julia’s counts were good even though some of the cell counts were low. ANC was 5740. Red blood cells 3.43 (reference 4.0-5.2), hemoglobin 9.6 (reference 11.5-15.5), and platelets 157 (reference 150-400). The Neulasta is helping to keep her counts at

Rough Day

This round of chemo is much harder on Julia. The new chemo drug, Carboplatin, is quickly showing its side effects. Julia woke up at 3:00 AM this morning vomiting. We gave her some Ativan to help with the nausea and it seemed to help for a short time. She fell back to sleep for a bit, but as soon as she woke, she began to throw up once again. As soon as time permitted, we gave another dose of Ativan, but Julia quickly threw that up. Nothing stayed in her stomach this morning. Since Julia was not feeling well, it was a long ride into the city for chemo today. With “bucket in hand”, she kept saying, “I will be okay. I am just getting a little car sick”, as if to give us comfort. Once checked in

Port Place and Chemo Begins

Julia had surgery Tuesday to place her new chemo port. Dr. Mattei, the surgeon, was able to place her new port in the same place as the previous one (only one scar). She was a little sore this morning, but mostly complained about her throat bothering her (due to the tube placed down there during the surgery). Today chemo round #3 began. Julia’s appointment was at 9:00 AM. Julia had her labs taken and all her counts were good. Shortly after Julia’s exam, there was a power outage at the clinic. The entire area, including the Mall, lost power. This posed a challenge as none of the monitors would work and the chemo could not be mixed in the pharmacy. PECO (the local electric company) said they c

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Julia's Grace Foundation  |  PO Box 1081, Royersford, Pennsylvania 19468