Monday, November 21, 2005
Johnny's On Drugs Again
He fell off the wagon today. Well, actually, we pushed him. His counts were really good, and his ANC was up to 1000 so he was finally able to get rolling on the delayed intensification (DI) phase of his chemotherapy. Now that he has started, he will get treatment the next three weeks regardless of what his counts do. He will then get at least a week off to rest, and then start another three week round of even stronger chemo. After that he will go into three + years of maintenance. It's funny, most kids would freak out when told they would have to take a handful of pills every night, go to the hospital once a month for an IV bag full of meds, and get a spinal tap every three months for the next four years. Today Johnny lit up and gave me a high five when I told him the same thing. I guess it seems a lot better than what he's been going through, or what he is looking at over the next couple of months. It's all perspective.
The next two months will be pretty tough on him. The drugs are the strongest he's had since the first month of treatment. Although he doesn't even really look sick right now he will probably get that "cancer patient" look again. He will most likely lose his hair, and the steroids will make him puffy around the middle and in his face. He will also loose those cat-like reflexes for awhile. No skating until he gets through this. That first month he could barely walk down the hall without taking a header (he did fall all the way down the stairs once). I need to figure out how to convince him to wear his helmet around the house. It actually may not be all that hard once his hair starts falling out again. He really seems to love the oragutan like stuff that grew back during his first break in treatment. Again, it's all perspective I guess.
He did great today. He knows what's coming, and I could tell he was nervous when they told us he could get started, but he never complained. He just got on with it. He's a lot stronger than me (hell, I almost passed out during the spinal tap), and even though he's only seven he knows he can't get to the end until he gets started. As always, I'm very proud of him.