A Good Start to a New Year

January 8, 2012

Julia finished her last round of chemo on Friday, December 30. I think there was a special Christmas Angel watching out for her this week. Since it was a holiday week, the clinic was only open for four days. As you might remember, Julia was scheduled for a five day cycle of chemo and due to the holiday, they condense the treatments (giving her five days of medication in four days). She has gotten sick with every round of chemo, so we were expecting this to be a rough week due to the condensed chemo (20% extra meds each day). I got my Christmas wish – Julia got through a chemo week without being physically sick. Yes, she had nausea, but the “nausea cocktail” (Zofran, Ativan, Dex and a Scopatch – all given in a certain order) worked each day!

Saturday brought New Year’s Eve and Julia’s magic shot of Neulasta. Julia rested all day so she could ring in the new year. All she kept saying was “I need to take it easy so I can see the New Year’s ball come down”. All her relaxing worked and she was able to stay up until midnight. It was so wonderful to see her smile as she counted down -“Five, four, three, two, one…HAPPY NEW YEAR!” She was so excited – using the noisemakers and streamers to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

On Monday, John, Amanda and Trooper headed back home to Kentucky. Julia is missing them, but she especially misses having Trooper around the house. Julia also knows that James heads back to school on Sunday, so she is making sure to spend lots of time with him.

Tuesday was counts at clinic – although low, they were good (ANC 5546, hemoglobin 9.9, platelets 103). No more “pokes” this week – Julia gets a break until next Monday. Tuesday was also back to school and seeing her friends after the long holiday. Julia skipped as we walked into school, so excited to be there and see everyone.

Thursday, Julia had some scheduled tests at clinic. First stop was ultrasound for a look at Julia’s kidney. The doctor had to review the images, so we left without hearing any results. Next, it was off to audiology for a hearing test. One of the side effects of Carboplatin is hearing loss, so it is important to check Julia’s hearing at intervals during treatment. There has been no change to Julia’s hearing – the first good news of the new year. Friday, we got the call to let us know that Julia’s ultrasound was great – no abnormalities in her abdomen and Julia’s kidney looked great. Good news number two!

Friday night, the magic Neulasta started to wear off. We could see a change in Julia’s energy level and she became very pale. It was like someone flipped a switch and all the color left her face. Looks like her counts are dropping and we will need to watch for any other changes over the weekend. Next week will bring blood tests and lots of rest, preparing for the next round of chemo.

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