Well today proved to be the longest day we have spent at the clinic thus far. Our day got started when we left at 5:45am to head to MDA with James, who couldn't have anything to eat or drink until after his lumbar puncture (LP). We arrived at the clinic at 7:00 and he got his blood drawn and then got to play in the playroom. We waited a little while and then we were taken back to see the doctor and get his counts. James' counts had recovered so that he could start the next phase-Delayed Intensification
Some things that happen in this phase(which is 60 days long) are:
Day 1-21-steroids morning and night
Day 4- chemo(peg asparaginase) that is injected by 2 shots into his legs
Day 1-8-15-two different chemos(vincristine and doxorubicin) that he will get in the clinic through his IV. Interesting tidbit - Doxorubicin turns pee bright red for 24 hours. Merry Christmas!
Day 1 and 29-lumbar punctures with chemo(methotrexate)
Day 29- we will be admitted to the hospital and James will be given fluids and chemo(cyclophosphamide)-this will be a new chemo he has never had and has some nasty side effects
Day 29-32 and Day 36-39-James will get one shot a day in his leg of Cytarabine(chemo)
Day 29-42-an oral chemo(thioguanine) that James will take every night
After Day 42 they will give his body rest for a couple of weeks so that it can recover. Whew!
We also found out that James' liver enzymes had come back down to normal and that it was in fact medicine related. They will continue to monitor his liver enzymes throughout the rest of his treatment. Please pray that his liver can safely metabolize the medicine--it is so very important for James to take all medicines related to his 3 year treatment to stay at the 95% chance of cure. I do not envy the doctors that have to decide between the likes of potential acute liver failure and relapse of leukemia. Pray for God's guidance of their decisions!
Around 9:30am we were taken to the procedure room for James to have his LP. We returned to the clinic around 11:30 where they began to do his IV infusion of immunoglobulins. That infusion ended around 4:30pm, and then they gave him his vincristine and doxorubicin. We finished up around 5:30 and returned to our home at 7pm-a fabulous 13 hour day!
James was a trooper today-he did everything they wanted him to with little to no complaining. We are so proud of how brave he is and so thankful for his sweet disposition and fun personality. Everybody at the clinic loves him and he loves them!
Please pray for us-we began steroids tonight and continue through Dec 5th. This will be a very trying time for our family because of how the steroids make him feel and act. Please pray for Greg and I to have the wisdom and patience to care for him during this time. We continually thank God for your love and support.