Friday, May 21, 2010

Chemotherapy Plan Update

Doctor Etzl, the Director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at PCH came and talked to Jessica and I yesterday about what the plan is for Caden's Chemotherapy. He told us about a few options, and the best one seemed to be a plan that should begin in the next week or two. Basically, he would have a total of 5 actual Chemotherapy treatments, with treatments #1,3, & 5 he will require hospitalization for maybe 2-3 weeks (if he contracts an infection he would remain longer) as they will be particularly aggressive treatments, and then be able to return home for about the same amount of time before returning for the next treatment. Treatments 2 & 4 are not nearly as aggressive and might only require little or no hospitalization before he could return home again. Before they begin the treatments they will filter out bone marrow cells from his blood (very safe, non-harmful procedure), they will store and grow these cells during his treatment, and after his 5 chemo treatments are complete they will restore the cells back into his body. The reason they do this is because the #1,3 & 5 aggressive chemo treatments will probably destroy many of these cells which he needs for his Immune system, but by re-introducing these matured and grown cells from his own body after the treatments, he will be able to build up his own Immune system much better and faster. They will perform MRI scans and other tests in between the treatments to see how the Chemo is working, the entire process could take until the end of this year, that is of course including hospital time and time at home. His quickness in returning home also depends on if his white blood cell count is back up to being high enough to fight off infections after each treatment (mainly #1,3, & 5), the faster it gets up to a good count, the faster he can return home. Right now Caden seems to be doing well, he is still hooked up to a few things, but he was giggling and laughing at me yesterday, and he seems to be sleeping much better than he ever did at home. Of course Caden will always need one of us at the hospital during all of this time, we can leave for short amounts of time but due to his age we need to be there with him day and night. Throughout everything we are stuck in a shared room as all of the rooms are very full, so it's a little rough living in a shared room for possibly much of the next several months, but it's what we need to do for Caden. Thanks for all your love and support!!

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