Radiation Begins – So Far, So Good

On Monday, Julia went to clinic in the morning to get her blood counts checked. Her counts went up so no transfusion was needed!!! We headed into the city for her first radiation treatment. Julia was able to lie still throughout the treatment and was very brave while she was left alone in the treatment room for her “special x-ray”. For the last three days, Julia has enjoyed listening to some special stories that were taped by her teachers at Brooke Elementary. She has enjoyed guessing who was reading the story of the day. In fact, the radiation techs have listened in; wanting to hear the end of Pinkalicious and applauding when the Winnie the Pooh stories were read. Today, Julia was back at c

Chemo #5 Ends

It has been a long week for Julia. Five days of six-hour chemo treatments, leaving her with an upset stomach and feeling quite tired. Through it all Julia keeps smiling – and keeps us smiling. We were able to control most of the nausea with the usual combination of drugs (a Scopatch, Zofran, Atavan and Benadryl). Each morning, Julia still got sick by the time we arrived at clinic. Carrying her “bucket”, we rushed to get to Julia’s chair and hook up the Zofran to her port; giving her relief, but not until after the bucket was put to use. By Friday, we decided to not eat breakfast before leaving for clinic. Thinking the car ride was adding to Julia’s nausea, we thought we would try to have he

Chemo Round # 5 Begins

Julia’s counts were good today, so her 5th round of chemo began. After accessing her port, checking her counts, and a visit with Dr. Julie, chemo was ordered. This week’s medicines include Cytoxin and Etoposide. As usual, Julia’s treatment began with a 24-hour dose of Zofran and ended with Ativan. The day at clinic was long as treatment includes three hours of fluids to avoid the side effect of bladder damage that can happen with Cytoxin. Julia was very tired and sat quietly during treatment – playing her new Barbie Jet Set fashion game on the DS (traveling the world as a “fashionista”), watching movies (Tinkerbell) and napping (dreaming of “dancing and touching the clouds”). Julia got to se

Radiology Appointment and Update

Julia had an appointment with Dr. Tochner, her radiologist, today. Dr. Tochner is the Chief of Pediatric Radiation Oncology. She also saw his associate, Dr. Goldsmith. They had already reviewed Julia’s scans and were quite pleased with the results of the chemo. Dr. Tochner explained that Julia will have 4 weeks of radiation – 2 weeks covering the area where the tumor had been to ensure that any cells remaining are killed and 2 weeks concentrated on the remaining tumor. We also met with Ally, the Child Life Specialist. It is imperative that Julia stay still throughout the radiation treatments. As you may remember, when Julia received radiation the first time, she was put under general anesthe

Quick Update – Chemo Will Need to Wait

Julia’s platelet count was too low today to start the next round of chemo. She will need to wait until next Monday to start the “5-day round”. Tomorrow (Tuesday) brings a visit to the radiologist to find out when radiation begins and the extent of the treatments.

Some News on Scans and Platelets to Start the Weekend

Julia had a clinic visit this morning to check her counts. Her platelets have continued to drop (this morning at 15), so a nice healthy transfusion was ordered. This did not come as a surprise as Julia’s energy level has dropped and she has several large bruises on the legs and abdomen. We also had the opportunity to see Monday’s scans and speak with Dr. Stern about next steps. The difference in the scans is amazing. The tumor is quarter the size of the original mass! The chemo continues to do a great job in destroying the tumor. The oncology team and surgeon met on Thursday to review all the scans. Julia’s tumor is in the lung and is growing in an unusual area (towards the center of her bod

Scans and Waiting on Next Steps

Julia had here first set of scans today – ultrasound of her abdomen and CT scan of her chest. In addition, she had her usual labs to check her blood counts. Her counts have dropped since last week – hemoglobin is 8.5 (reference 11.5-15.5), platelets 93 (reference 150-400) and ANC 518. Julia will need to go back to clinic on Wednesday to have labs drawn again. We had to wait until the early evening to get any word on Julia’s scans. Dr. Stern called to say that the tumor has shrunk to 2×3 cm. The chemo has done a great job in shrinking the tumor. Reason to celebrate! At this point, they cannot tell if the tumor is live or if it is dead tissue. We knew from Julia’s previous x-ray that the tumor

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