Tag Archives: lumbar puncture

Another day another fail

Gage went in for another lumbar puncture. He came out without having got it done, because his ANC was still too low. But whereas last week when his counts were about 200 which means he is at a high risk for infection his counts today was 695 just 55 “points” away from being pass-able. So now we go back again, next week with fingers crossed and a quick prayer, that Gage will pass and we finally get into the maintenance portion of the chemotherapy treatment.

If for some crazy reason that he doesn’t pass and his ANC is not up to 750 by May 9 or his counts go down, Gage would be scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration for the following week. Because at that point there should be no reason for his counts to have not improved.  So as long as they go up soon, I will be happy.

Gage and I at the clinic this morning. Waiting, always waiting.

Will The Real L.P. Please Stand Up

If you look back to a post from a couple of weeks ago titled L.P. I complain about Gage having to go the clinic for a lumbar puncture, and how it was going to totally suck. Well Gage never got the L.P. that day, his blood counts were not high enough for him to under go heavy ass doses
of chemotherapy, so it was postponed for a few days. He didn’t pass then either, ok…odd. Gages doctor wanted to try again in three days, we put our foot down though, no we want to wait for at least a week.

There is so much stress when getting ready for a lumbar puncture. Because Gage does get sedated, he is not able to eat or drink anything for six hours before the procedure. Which is no fun for anybody involved. I make a conscious decision to not eat or drink until Gage can, and let me tell you I am usually ready to eat my foot by the time we get the ok for a bottle; so Gage must be absolutely starving.

Then the Cyclophosphamide (which is also known as cytoxan) which is just one of the four three or four chemo’s he get that day, can burn his liver, we have to constantly be keeping him hydrated the day before. We never let his bottle or sippy get empty, the same goes for at night. I am up every hour until 4:00a.m. refilling his almond milk, changing diapers, and freaking out that I’m not going to wake up and he drinks something after 4:00a.m. It truly does make for a long exhausting day.

Finally after three failed attempts at chemotherapy Gage had high enough blood counts to actually get shit done. Thank you baby jeebus, because I do not want to have to go through another bone marrow aspiration, to see if horror of horrors the leukemia is back. I did mention the cytoxan burning his liver, right? Well I forgot since that can happen L.P. chemo days are usually eight hour days, because the doctors give Gage I.V. fluids, for three hours before. Still with no food and for at least ninety minutes after his last dose of chemo, with strict rules to keep him hydrated and to change his diaper at the signs of first pee or poop; to avoid a horrible diaper rash.

So since Gage got his lumbar puncture, he has had chemotherapy injected into his Hickman line, for four days straight. He is such a trooper and nothing seems to be able to get him down. I can’t wait for the day that I can say,”do you remember when Gage had to go through chemo, and we never thought we’d be finished?” That’s the day I am living for now.

The Chemo Kid

L.P.

Gage has a lumbar puncture today. It’s not going to be good, so far he has spent the last 45 minutes screaming and we are only in the car! He has just finally fallen asleep. I hope he stays that way for a while, especially since he can’t eat until after his procedure is done today.

Wordless Wednesday: We Be Rollin’


“We be rollin’”

Leukemia. The New Normal

I haven’t been here in a few days. Sorry. It all just got to be a little over whelming, people have been calling and emailing me, questioning me about what I am writing. Am I sure I want to be putting so much of our lives out their for the world to see?

The answer? Yes, I want to write about it. I want you to know that even though Gage is in remission, I will forever live in fear of relapse. And that even though it has almost been seven months since Gage was diagnosed I still have daily anxiety and at least a couple of times a week I have nightmares. To add to my nightmare Gage has been having nightmares. I rush to his room because his screams are so scary and heartbreaking. I wonder if he remembers like I remember. I hug him and kiss him, and whisper in his ear, that it will all be all right, mommy is here and I love you so much. He always falls back asleep almost instantly, into that peaceful baby sleep, curled up on his belly with his diapered butt sticking up in the air. I usually will stay and pat his back, rub his chubby little cheeks, rub the curls on top of his head. Wishing our lives were normal.

31-40

YOU KNOW YOU’RE THE PARENT OF A KID WITH CANCER WHEN…

30. You have more meds in your cupboard than food
31. You can read your son’s chart better than his nurse
32. You look like you’re tan but it’s really Betadine stains
33. You and your hubby get matching stress tattoos for fun
34. You start teaching your daughter the parts of her body, and you point to her chest, and she says that’s her port
35. None of the security guards on the pediatric floor ask for your ID anymore, and you’re on first-name basis with the operating room staff
36. Medical students ask to borrow your notes
37. Your toddler refuses to sit on Santa’s lap because he’s too germy from all the other kids
38. You wrap presents and packages with medical tape
39. Your main source of nutrition comes from aspirin
40. Your child is more familiar with CT scan & bone scan pictures than the portrait studio!!!

We Just Needed a Drink

When Gage was first in the hospital, I would not leave the hospital; seriously you could not get me to leave. I was afraid of what could happen if I was gone, and not able to be there with him. I didn’t trust anybody for me not to be there, not the family, not the nurses and sadly enough not even the Hubs. But gradually after about a month I started to go out with the Hubs once Gage was asleep we would tell the nurses we were going to Wendy’s when really we would head out to this little dive bar in the parking lot next door to the hospital. We’d sit silently not talking to one another, he drinking the house special beer and me a bloody Mary. Lost in our thoughts and emotions.

As a married couple the Hubs and I needed those nights at the bar, just to sit and be alone outside of the hospital, where nobody knew who we were and what Gage was going through. I mean we slept, ate, showered, lived at the hospital for like three months last year; and when we slept it was in separate cots. Not very romantic or conducive for a successful relationship, I am going to be completely honest with you people, because if I can’t be honest with 10,000 of my closest friends, then what am I doing here?

I wasn’t sure if my marriage would survive Gages treatment. I blamed the Hubs for not being with me when Gage was diagnosed, because it was a Monday afternoon he shouldn’t be at work. He should have been shopping at IKEA with me, then at the doctor’s office getting the most devastating of my life. Instead he was making a living for his family to live on, how dare he! I resented the fact that he went to work for those first few weeks, even when he wanted to be with us, and I demanded he go work. Gage didn’t need both of us at the hospital, going crazy with anxiety and fear; go work. I didn’t see that he was slowly killing himself because he was staying at the hospital, not sleeping and then getting up at 5am to work and not get back to our room until 9pm that night. All I saw was he got to leave, he had a “normal” life outside of the hospital; and I resented him for it. I pushed him to leave, and yet I resented it!

We got into mad, crazy yelling fight in the hospital. When I say yelling, I mean whispering loudly so the nurses can’t hear us, and quickly shutting up as soon as a nurse walked in to give Gage medication and change his diaper. Oiy- those poor nurses, the awkwardness of it all, I get so embarrassed just thinking about. None of those nurses get paid well enough to have been subjected to some of the looks we shot at each other those three months in the hospital. Those rooms echo, too! So I am sure they heard every word we said. No matter how quiet we tried to be. I said the most hateful things to him, while we were in the hospital. Things I wish I could take back, and never have said. Things I don’t think I have ever apologized for, things to this day I wont bring up to the Hubs because I am so ashamed of myself.

This was the man I married, the same guy I promised to love and honor, in sickness and health, good times and bad yada yada yada. And the first real hardship in our married life together and I freak the ‘eff out, on the one person who was giving me the most strength from anybody. Who for the last seven years has let me get my way in every argument, never told me no I couldn’t do something or buy an absolutely unnecessary item, I sure as hell didn’t need. He has always been there for me, during the good, the bad and the ugly loving me and supporting me; and I couldn’t do the same for him.

The bottom line is, this has been the hardest six months of my life as a mother and more importantly as a wife. But I love my Husband and if Gage can fight cancer and survive then we can fight to make our marriage work. I think coming to that realization has been what has saved us. Six months later our marriage is still on shaky ground, but we are slowly building our family back up, this time stronger than ever. I don’t know a lot, but the one thing I do know is I love him more and more each day.