Thursday, February 11, 2010

Planning your life in three-week increments.

The break from chemo was nice. Very nice. The only thing that would have made the 3-week chemo-cation any better would have been not being in the hospital recovering from a nephrectomy. But, I'm still thankful for the small breaks we get.

Today began the first of five more chemo treatments for Eve, each three weeks apart:
  1. February 11, Vincristine & Dactinomycin
  2. March 5, Vincristine & Doxorubicin
  3. March 26, Vincristine & Dactinomycin
  4. April 16, Vincristine & Doxorubicin
  5. May 7, Vincristine & Dactinomycin

So she gets chemo, has a week until her blood counts drop, spends a week with low counts, then they slowly get back up until BAM! Let's do it again.

1 down, 4 to go.

In between having Eve's blood drawn and getting chemo, we hauled hiney over to radiation-oncology at the ominous Clinics. The doctor broke everything down for us. Some interesting highlights:

  • When you radiate the vertebrae, the growth will be markedly slower than the unradiated vertebrae. So, the radiation specialists make a point to radiate across the entire vertebrae rather than just hitting one side. This will prevent orthopaedic issues that occur when one side is growing and the other is not. Better to stop growth evenly and be short-torsoed (is that even a word?) than to have scoliosis because you didn't get your spine evenly radiated.
  • The muscles that support the spine will probably not grow as well after radiation. You can't evenly radiate that like you can the vertebrae, though. This has been linked to some orthopaedic problems. That's just something that will have to suck a lil' bit.
  • The bottom of the liver will be in the radiation field. There should be plenty of liver that isn't affected, though. But hey, at least that's an organ that can regenerate if some scatter radiation does more damage than predicted!
  • The intestines will be hit. Radiation, like major abdominal surgery, leaves some scar tissue which can lead to bowel obstruction. It could happen tomorrow. It could happen thirty years from now. We will have to be careful not to dismiss any stomach discomfort as a garden-variety GI bug.
  • The reproductive machine is still low in her pelvis, so it will not be in the radiation field. Which means Eve can grow up, find herself an Adam, and be fruitful and mulitply with no issues from this whole Wilms soap opera.

We have a mapping session Monday morning at 7:45. The mapping session is a simulation which will help the docs plan how to turn Eve into a Glo-Worm. It is our understanding that the folks down in radiation-oncology are punctual people, so I can only pray this is true since we will all be NPO. (Eve will need anesthesia to ensure she is completely still.) Radiation therapy will begin next Thursday, and will last for 6-7 consecutive business days.

That's a lot of Downstairs Eves.


  1. adam and eve. pu-hhaa! i can always count on you to bring your A game when it comes to witty humor. and now you are getting schooled in even more medicinal procedures, treatments and illnesses. shitty cancer. or as jake would say, "stupid stupid". no. no stutter. must be his way of expressing great dissatisfaction by doubling up.

  2. wow christy. that is so much to take in. i can imagine your mind is just spinning out of control sometimes. i am glad that there is a plan in place and that they make sure to explain everything very well to you before they begin. you continue to amaze me with how you stay so positive and never lose your sense of humor. i really think having a positive attitude makes such a difference. and your eve ... she is beautiful and strong and braver than most people i know... adults included. love you guys. give all the kids hugs from us. you are always always in my prayers. amber

  3. this is the essence of "mom angel" right here on earth ... Eve is so "blessed" to have you ...