Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chemo Cycle 4 Day 3

Isabella is doing unexpectedly well so far in her chemo. So far, through day 3, she has not complained of any nausea and has eaten very well. After she took her meds for the day, we were discharged and are at home where Isabella ate a bunch more. So we have two more days of temodar than that is it for this cycle.

UPDATE: Well, right after I posted this, Isabella threw up everything she ate for dinner. Right after she threw up, Isabella was smiling and said her tummy felt better. We just think she ate too much and not necessarily something with the chemo.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chemo Cycle 4 Begins

Well after a nice three week delay, Isabella is back in the hospital and has started Cycle 4 of her chemotherapy. This cycle is a little different from the first three in that there is no Vincristine given at all during the cycle. They still give Isabella Carboplatin today and tomorrow, and the temodar pills for the next 5 days. The carboplatin needs to be administered in the hospital, but the temodar can be taken at home, so we should be home on Saturday.

I'd like to say that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but to quote an old Metallica song, "the light at the end of the tunnel, is just a freight train heading your way." We're really nervous about the MRI scheduled for the 18th because that will show how much we've done and how much we really have left.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home Sweet Home

So we are back home after a nice quick stay at the hospital. We had expected to be at the hospital a couple more days for the stem cell harvest, but they were able to collect 3 times the required amount of stem cells from Isabella in one shot.

Today was also a special family fun day at the hospital where visitors from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came by to entertain the kids. There were a couple news crews and reporters to cover the story, so if we end up being on the news, I'll send out the links. There were a couple clowns and magicians there, and we had a nice picture taken with Isabella. The picture was taken with a "magic" camera, where you could see the picture almost immediately after you snapped the shot. You couldn't see the picture on the back of the camera, but it would magically appear on a piece of white paper that came out from the camera. Amazing!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Cool!

Isabella and I just had this conversation while we were playing Uno in the hospital, after I had her draw two cards.

Isabella: What does draw mean?
Me: It means to take cards from the deck. Do you know another meaning for 'draw'?
Isabella: To draw on a piece of paper?
Me: Yes.
Isabella: Do you know what other word has two meanings?
Me: What?
Isabella: Cool.
Me: What are the two meanings?
Isabella: Cool, like you're cold (shivering).
Me: Yes, and what's the other one?
Isabella: Cool, like "you're cooooool".
Me: Oh, like me?
Isabella (without even thinking): No! Like Nathaniel!

Scheduling Updates

Since Isabella had an extra couple of weeks of recovery time from chemo, her blood counts were at very good levels. The doctors feel she may have gotten enough stem cells in today's collection, but they will officially know tomorrow morning. The worst case is that they have to do another collection early tomorrow. Since you have to wait 48 hours after the collection to start chemo, they'll be sending us home tomorrow and start chemo on Thursday morning. We'll be readmitted to the hospital Thursday, hopefully for just two days, then be home on Saturday.

This cycle of chemo will be different from the previous three in that they will not be giving Vincristine on Day 1, 7 and 14. Instead, they will just be doing Carboplatin on Day 1 and Day 2, and Temodar on Days 1 through 5. Then, that's it for this cycle! Isabella will get her MRI done on April 18, then we're not sure when the final, really intensive Chemo cycle begins. It will be during this final chemo cycle when her bone marrow will be killed by the chemo. They will then inject the stem cells that they collected back into her to regrow the bone marrow and restimulate the creation of her white cells. That whole recovery period will take 4 to 8 weeks in isolation in the hospital. It will take a year for her body to fully recover.

Thanks for keeping up to date. The weather is getting nice here in the Northeast and hopefully you are enjoying your Spring.

Vacation Over - Back to NYU

After a busy weekend, Isabella is back at NYU Medical Center for a few days. She is scheduled to have her stem cells harvested again. You can read about the stem cell collection back in our archives. Julianne and I will be swapping hospital duty for the next few days, and we should be home by Thursday or Friday. Then Saturday, we'll be back in the hospital to begin Cycle 4 of her chemotherapy.