Thursday, December 18, 2008

Almost Done With This Cycle

Isabella had some problems taking the Temodar medication. This portion of the chemo is given orally, normally by capsule, but since Isabella can't swallow the capsule whole, they need to open it and dissolve it in water. Isabella had problems taking the medicine because it tasted so bad and she ended up gagging on it and vomiting it back up.

For the cycle, Isabella is supposed to take Temodar once a day for 5 days. She took it fine on Day 1 and 2 (Saturday and Sunday), but threw up Day 3 (Monday) and Day 4 (Tuesday). Since she basically missed the Day 3 and 4 doses, they decided to extend the cycle for two days to make up for it. Last night, Julianne discovered that if we put a couple drops of flavoring in the medicine and give Isabella a lollipop to suck on after taking the medicine, then Isabella is less likely to throw it up. It's been working fine so far since Isabella has been able to take Day 3 on Wednesday and Day 4 today and keep it down. She has one more day of Temodar on Friday and will be done with it until next month.

She also has two more doses of vincristine scheduled for this Friday and next Friday, but this is given intravenously so she shouldn't have any problems taking this. Just for completion's sake, the other medication that's part of the cycle is called carboplatin, and that is administered via IV drip over 4 hours on Day 1 and Day 2 of the cycle, so Isabella is done with that one for now.

Isabella has also been tranfered back to Rusk and just like before, immediately perked up and began playing with her friends again. She should begin her therapy sessions on Friday.

*** IMPORTANT ****

One of the side effects of the chemotherapy is that it reduces your white blood cell count which makes it harder for your body to fight off infections. Isabella's blood count has already dropped dramatically and she will soon begin receiving medication that will help her regenerate her white blood cells. So, not only does that mean that Isabella can't have visitors, but we also need to limit the visitors at our house to make sure that Julianne or myself do not get sick. So please call before dropping by and if you are sick or may even remotely be sick, please postpone your visit until you are sure you are not sick. They expect her blood count to be back to normal within a couple weeks.

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