A Cold and Chemo

January 22, 2012

Julia’s fever broke on Monday. She was off from school for the day, so she spent most of the time relaxing and watching videos. We kept an eye on any changes, but it seemed that whatever caused the fever was viral. We got confirmation of this on Tuesday at clinic. The blood culture taken in the Emergency Room came back negative.

Julia started her clinic visit with blood work to check her counts. She also had a check up with Pattianne, the nurse practitioner. Julia looked fine – her ears and throat were clear. Julia’s counts came back lower than Sunday, with ANC of 1344, but still high enough to proceed with the next round of chemo.

The pre-chemo meds of Zofran and Dex (the steriod) and a Sco-patch were started right away. This weeks’ chemo was Etoposide and Carboplatin – the big guns! You could watch Julia’s energy leave her body as the meds slowly dripped through her port. She sat quietly watching a movie, resting her body for the hard week to come.

Julia received a dose of Ativan before we left clinic, stopping to get a check x-ray before we got on our way. Once we got home, we watched the clock until we could give her the next dose of Zofran and Dex, hoping to keep the vomitting away.

We repeated this ritual for the next two days. Only Wednesday and Thursday, Julia slept through most of the treatments. She tried to join her friends at school via Skype on Wednesday, but couldn’t stay awake. She quitely fell asleep halfway through the phonics lesson after saying “Excuse me Mrs. Russo, I’m tired now, I’m just going to listen”.

Thursday, her cough started, the cold virus finally showing itself. Julia was more tired than normal this round, most likely a combination of her body fighting off the cold and the meds.

On Thursday, Dr. Julia also gave us the good news. Julia’s chest x-ray was normal! Of course, the x-ray doesn’t show details like a CT-scan and her port line runs right where the tumor was, but the radiologist said it looked normal! It was wonderful news! We have to wait for a good view when a CT-scan is taken in about 5 weeks.

Friday, Julia stayed home from school with Daddy. She was just too wiped out. She slept in until 10 AM (an oddity for Julia). She laid around most of the day and rested – just what her body needs now. Julia received the magic shot of Neulasta Friday afternoon, a little boost for her blood. Saturday has brought much of the same, rest and quiet play.

Next Monday afternoon it is back to clinic to start the two-week watch on Julia’s blood counts, waiting for the dip and then the bounce back before the next round of chemo begins.

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