Tuesday, April 4, 2017

4.3.17 :: Treatment Update

Somehow we find ourselves at the end of the Sammy's chemotherapy protocol. He is now entering day 21 of this cycle. The fifth and final cycle of Headstart III chemotherapy. We are now preparing for the next phase of Sammy's treatment. We hang in the balance as we wait to learn if Sammy's treatment was successful or if we will have to attack his cancer with a Plan B. We have been full of stress leading up to this week. I found myself more and more anxious as the days ticked by this round, knowing this was the moment we were leading up to. The moment where we learn the answer to the question we desperately want to know the answer to. Did the chemo work? Is the chemo working? Has the tumor grown back? Has the cancer spread? We want to know. But are we ready to hear the answers. Are we really prepared for what the results may be? There are very few times in this journey that I have let my mind wonder. And as this moment got closer, I started to allow those ugly thoughts into my mind. The reality of what if the chemo just was not strong enough? What if the cancer was just smarter and stronger? Do I have the energy for round two with this stupid ugly cancer? Can I face the reality of our journey be extended that much longer? Can I face my child and tell him the hard things? I try to not stay visiting these thoughts too long. But we do have to be ready and prepared for the worst. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. It is how I have lived my life as a parent. Ready for whatever blow comes my way, and ready to strike back. This is the first time in my life where I feel I do not feel ready for the blow that may be heading our way.

Sammy will be going for an MRI in the afternoon. We are not sure of the exact time yet, but are told it will be sometime after noon Arizona time. He will once again be put under anesthesia for this scan. The MRI will be of his brain and spine. This will be what defines our next move. Being able to move forward with Bone Marrow Transplant, or figuring out a plan B.

He is also scheduled for his BAER hearing test while he is under sedation as well. This again is to verify his hearing has not be harmed by the chemotherapy drugs. We are hoping no change continues to be detected.

This whole week is full of various tests and scans in preparation for Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT). The plan right now is to do all his testing this week. They will be testing pretty much every body system, so we have few surprises during BMT. Any issues could become life threatening if gone unchecked during the transplant process. We will meet with the team on Friday to go over results of everything, and to further discuss what BMT will look like for Sammy. As of now, Sammy will be moved to BMT on April 19th. It is same floor, different room, different team of people. They move us rooms to give him a fresh, clean room for the transplant process.

Yesterday, we started this evaluation process. Sammy had his GFR test, which evaluates his kidney function. This requires him to go to nuclear medicine, where they inject a radioactive tracer into his blood stream. They then do blood draws at various intervals, which are then evaluated to see how well his body is filtering his blood. Kidney damage is one of the many side effects of chemotherapy. A decrease in this function changes the dosage for chemo drugs used for the BMT.

Sammy also had an EKG done. To test his heart function. To make sure he does not have any concerns with how his heart is working. They also took him down for chest x-rays, to ensure his lungs are healthy and clear as well.

I am not entirely sure what other tests will be occurring over the next several days, but I know he will have a bunch. Including a ton of labs using his blood. So we have a huge week ahead, with lots to take in. The biggest hurdle being his MRI.

PRAY for our hearts to be still and at peace. PRAY for our minds to be clear and not wonder. PRAY for Sammy during his MRI. That he is filled with comfort and peace. That he does not feel anxious going into the procedure room. PRAY he is calm and wakes feeling calm. PRAY he comes out of sedation easy and without any complications. PRAY that the scan is without questions, that any spot been seen, if there is any. PRAY that for full healing of Sammy's brain, for no evidence of cancer. PRAY for our marriage, that we draw near each other in these difficult moments. PRAY for Logan as he is adjusting to more change (I will post more about this later). PRAY for our family over the next week, as we learn more about what's next for us all.


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