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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 access). I explained to Julia that if the blood test was good and she was able to have her medicine, they would need to use her “tubey” and that would mean another stick. She had the choice between one stick or two. After a few minutes, Julia confidently said she would rather just get one ouch and “let’s do the tubey”. Michelle, one of the nurses, came into the exam room to access Julia’s port. Julia calmly told Michelle she needed to go slowly. There were a few tears as Michelle cleaned Julia’s skin, and then the counting 1-2-3, and Julia’s brave voice saying “that’s not so bad”.

Julia’s platelet count was at 143 today so she was able to start round three of chemo. Etoposide and Carboplatin are once again on this cycle which will last for the next three days (only Carbo for two days). As usual, for the nausea, Julia received a full day’s dose of Zofran thru the port and a Sco-patch was placed behind her ear. While Julia got her chemo, you could see the color leave her cheeks and her energy seemed to be depleted.

Tonight Julia has not been feeling well. She did not talk much and just wanted to be held. Julia did not eat dinner and only wanted to “rest”. Her stomach began to really bother her around 7 PM, so we gave Julia a dose of Benedryl to subside the nausea. Hoping for a restful night – one chemo day down, two more to go.

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