Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chemo News

Annabelle FINALLY made counts on Sunday so she started chemo again on Monday. Before heading to ICS we made a stop at The Huntsman for a follow-up radiation appointment. Annabelle was so excited to go back and see her friends there! Dr Poppe was very pleased with how her neck looks and she was thrilled to show off her fresh, new skin. He is glad that she is able to swallow now but agrees there is still some acute swelling in her throat that needs to resolve. She will go back in another 4-6 weeks when that should be gone and if she is still struggling with some swallowing they will do a procedure where they put a balloon down her throat (she would be sedated) and inflate it to stretch it back out. I am hopeful that it will get better on it's own, but it's good to know there are options if it doesn't. After we finished up there we came down to Primary's and got settled in ICS.

As weird as it may sound, I am glad to have her back on chemo. Ideally her cycles are supposed to be 2 weeks apart, although she's never made counts at the 2 week mark. Throughout her course of treatment they have been getting further and further apart and this last time it took her 6, yes SIX, weeks for counts to recover. Delays in treatment are expected but not to this extreme. For that reason they have decided to reduce her chemo dose by 25%. So for now she will get 75% of her normal dose with the hope that she will able to recover more quickly and keep on schedule. If she does great for a couple rounds they may take her back up to 100%, but they told me they honestly don't expect that will be the case with her. Some protocols call for extra rounds at the end to make up for the dose reduction but luckily Annabelle's does not! I ran into Dr Sato in the hall yesterday and she explained that they can only give her body as much as it can handle and it obviously couldn't take the higher dose. I finally said to her, "So it doesn't do any good to give her the higher dose if it's going to kill her!" She laughed and hugged me and said, "Exactly. You understand what I'm saying." We love Dr Sato.

Annabelle is getting her IE treatment, which is 5 days of Ifofsamide and Etoposide. We should get out of here on Saturday, and hopefully in time for me to watch the Cat-Griz game. GO GRIZ! Although, let's be honest, they'll probably get whooped. Then, after the storm moves through this weekend, Josh will be coming down to stay for a while. Happy day! My little family will be all together for a few days. Annabelle will be bottomed out and have no immunity right around Thanksgiving, so it probably won't be that fun for her to be kept away from everyone, but maybe with the reduced dose this will be the first time she doesn't get a fever??? We can hope, right!?!


AMcGrew said...

Yay! I'm so happy to hear that she was able to start chemo on Monday! Jason started his chemo today. I've been so worried about the delay. I'll pray extra hard for Annabella so she doesn't get a fever!!! :)

Jenny said...

I'm so glad that the doctors are taking good care of her. I hope the new ratio of medicine will do the trick.

Does Annabelle like silly bandz? (The rubber band bracelets in different shapes?) We have a few and my kids don't wear them. They would love to send them in a little care package.