Friday, July 16, 2010

Stalled 2nd cycle begins

With apologies for not posting anything yesterday, I hope you noticed a couple of 'twitter' messages. The advantage of twitter is that it constrains one to 140 characters so it is quicker - you have to be brief and to the point. But at the same time, you can say a vast amount in 140 characters...
After a fairly normal day yesterday, today Pads went to give a blood sample at 9am, and afterwards it was the clinic. I say 'fairly' because the dentist had asked to see him before the high-dose. Teeth can get infected and/or the chemo can play havok with the gums, apparently. In consequence, Pads has a couple of weeks to get a wobbly tooth out himself or we'll be going back to the dentist.
At the clinic, our consultant was struck by how well he was looking... and he is. The thing that's most troubling him at the moment is a hematoma where the surgeons at Bristol, for whom he is bearing a slight grudge, had tried to put the line into his right groin and failed. It's a nasty bruise and makes him hobble quite a bit. It should heal up but... then again... we have to keep a watch on it.
If his blood count was low then chemo would be delayed until it was high enough, probably Tuesday. We returned home to await the results. The call came through that platelets were at 128, with 30 being the critical level. This indicates his bone marrow is still working well. Readings earlier in the week were slightly confounded by transfusions of platelets and blood. So chemo today was 'go': the order was placed for pharmacy to prepare the Etoposide and Carboplatin, and we re-appeared at the hospital at 13:30 for the infusions. This all went routinely over the space of 3 hours so that we left the hospital at 17:45. So the 2nd cycle has begun and will continue like this until Tuesday. Then he'll have a couple of weeks to recover and, somewhere along the way, a decision will be made as to whether to go for a 3rd cycle or go straight into 'high-dose'. At the moment, it looks like the latter option will be chosen, not least because of the trouble that was stirred up with the mic-key infection. We cant help wondering whether, if someone had understood the implications of the mic-key button being too tight, the possible cause of infection, the rather dangerous infection could have been avoided. But with zero white-blood cells, perhaps an infection was inevitable... At least we can be pleased that he came through it, and the harvest was very successful. Also, it was remarkable how his guts normalised, almost as soon as the antibiotics stopped on Wednesday. He's been eating and drinking quite well, but only small amounts. This has been topped up by nightly tube-feeds.

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