Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chemo 17, Day 2

Today was an eventful day for everybody! Chemo on Tuesday started around 5, and I got back to the hospital around 11PM after The Wife got home from her orchestra rehearsal. (I got to watch Lost almost uninterrupted by baby, which was marvelous. What a wonderful show!) Grandma left, and The Boy and I played until he fell asleep around 11:30PM. It took me until well after woot o'clock to fall asleep; not sure why, but it probably had something to do with too much Final Fantasy 2 on my iPhone.

(Note to self: the last major insomnia problems came around the middle of Final Fantasy 12. No video games after 10PM.)

The Boy awoke at 5:30 and wanted more Mary Poppins. So, we sat up at 5:30AM, watching Mary Poppins and eating Doritos. (Hey - I was hungry, and the dining services doesn't open until 7AM!) Some of the Doritos came back up, but it was a treat and a nice male bonding moment for the two of us. Around 6:15 or so, he wanted to go to the playroom. (Key phrase: "Daddy - walk? Walk? Elmo SLIP-pers!")

What do you do when you got less than 4 hours sleep and your cancer-patient-2 1/2-year-old son wants to go to the playroom? You go to the playroom. We were there for about twenty minutes before he pooped. We went back to the room for a diaper change, and we both fell asleep until around 9:30AM. At that point, I discovered something really, really cool: the dining services has Cocoa Puffs AND Lucky Charms! The Boy showed some interest in Cocoa Puffs, mixing dry cereal with his banana and eating it that way.

Carboplatin is nasty, nasty stuff. It has an immediate negative reaction in his body. Less than 12 hours after the first dose, The Boy was listless, energyless, with no appetite and lots of body aches. This is also the stuff that causes the hearing loss and the leukemia probability later in life. Thank you, science, for giving us such a wonderful cure to cancer.

We went back to the playroom after breakfast, playing with Lydia - another 2 1/2 year old, but a girl. It's interesting to note the differences, both in gender differences and in social differences, of a child who was later diagnosed than The Boy. He is such a shy, socially awkward kid! I know he'll get over it, but my heart breaks when I think of him enduring some of the things that my wife and I endured in our schooling. The Boy and Lydia played for a little while, then he did his thing and she kicked / threw a ball around with the playroom volunteers.

We both napped after lunch again, and we webchatted with Grandpa upon waking. He talked with The Boy, and I watched the Yankees-Pirates game on tv over his shoulder: a win-win situation. I might get the subscription to go along with my iPhone app, which would let me watch any Yankees game I wanted. Not sure if I want to spend a hundred bucks, though.

The Wife relieved me while I ran to the comic book store, Starbucks, the art supply store (to get some decent watercolors for the playroom - nothing in stock today), then home. Grandpa took me to pick the car up from the service shop (nothing important - just routine, overdue maintenance), and I picked up Panera Bread on the way back to the hospital.

Of course, pulling The Boy onto the bed at the bed caused his tubes to catch on the side, ripping the needle right out of his port - in the middle of getting today's dose of carboplatin. Wonderful. Nothing like a toxic drug spill running down The Boy's skin and onto the floor. He gets cleaned up, and they try to reaccess - nothing. Not able to get the needle in, not able to establish a return. They let him heal for an hour and set up a chest x-ray, which showed that the port was fine but shifted a bit to the side. Re-access, finish the carbo, with only a minimum of extraneous stress to The Boy.

I would like to point out that The Boy stood up for his chest x-ray. That's new - previously, he's always been horizontal. Good for him! Such a brave little man.

The nurse who helped re-establish the chemo gave me a good-natured hard time, as she helped re-access him the last time his needle got yanked out. Sigh. She's a cool chick, though, and I can take a little bit of ribbing.

Grandpa came by just as we re-accessed, and he hung out with The Boy and me for a while, then everybody went home. The Boy and I watched Mary Poppins twice more, and he fell asleep next to me. I showered and got into PJs, and here I am, trying to wind myself down so that I don't have to sedate myself into sleep. Sigh.

Because of the port issue, etoposide didn't start until around 8:00 or 8:30, which means that it's likely they won't start until then tomorrow night. Then, our choice is either a 10PM discharge or stay another night - which we had planned, tentatively, to do anyway.

In short, a nice, boring, eventful day. With the exception of yanking the port out, every day should be like this!

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