Yesterday John and I met with Dr. Chemo again.
Mathew is scheduled for a Port on Monday afternoon immediately followed by his first round of chemo.
That is if everything goes well. The glitch will be inputting the Port. Mathew is already stressed about the upcoming procedure. Normally the area is locally numbed and the procedure is then performed. Yeah, that’s not going to happen with him! I know with pediatrics they will often sedate the patient and that is probably what they will do for Mathew.
The idea is to leave hardware (input needle) into the port so the first treatment can be infused. If not then Mathew will return on Tuesday for the chemo.
Mathew, as we were told yesterday, will receive 13 cycles of chemo. A cycle means one treatment and recovery period. It is easy to think of it this way: On odd cycles Mathew will receive chemo as an outpatient during a few hours and then recover at home for something like 12 or 14 days. That is followed by the even cycles where he will be admitted to the hospital for 5 days to receive the second treatment (different mixture of chemo drugs) and fluids followed by a rest period of about 9 days. So “odd” treatments or cycles, are out patient and “even” treatments/cycles are inpatient for 5 days.
Somewhere in all of that time radiation might be given; not sure yet. The only way surgery is a possibility in the near future is if the tumour presses against the spinal cord itself and causes too many problems.
Mathew’s pain is increasing and his sleeping still isn’t great. I was up from 5 am on yesterday and 4 am on today so John could get some rest. Mathew is getting break-through medication through the day and night now even though his nightly dose was increased last week. He is also complaining of a new pain in his buttocks area. The last couple of days it is more of a relief to sit in his chair than lie down. I sure don’t want to go there again!!
If the only cancer Mathew has is the tumour in his spine then this treatment is aimed at curing it. If is in his lungs then it will be a different situation however that has to be assessed over the next 6 months or so. Otherwise there will be no grade or stage of cancer given.
Mathew will be spending his in-patient time in the pediatric ward. He will be more comfortable with the kids and the nurses are more accommodating to his special needs there (just that he acts like the 8 year old he really is at heart). The area is more geared for him so we’re told ~ we haven’t seen it yet so can’t comment on that right now.
The oncology department will be giving us a calendar of Mathew’s scheduled treatments otherwise it is too difficult to follow and keep track of everything. The whole thing will take about a year, which I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs. Next Monday the oncology department is running an info session on chemotherapy for patients and care-givers. John and I are attending because it is 2 hours to learn about what to expect and how to help the patient. One of the oncology nurses runs it. What a great idea!!
I’m off to work now; I’m making up time and banking a little for upcoming appointments.