Because I am incredibly impatient, we went in Wednesday to see if her counts were high enough to start. They were very close, so our fabulous oncologist let us go ahead and start chemo. We had her first round at 6 PM Wednesday, and then had 3 more rounds every twelve hours after that. The first two were completed with no real side effects, but the middle of the day Thursday, Maddie developed a fever like she had the last time she received the High Dose Ara-C. The fever was pretty easily brought down with Tylenol, so she was able to feel good once the tylenol was working each time the fever came back.
Brandon arrived from Quantico in time to relieve my mom at the hospital around eight o’clock last night. Maddie’s fever hung around until about 10 PM last night, so we stayed the night at the hospital just to be sure it went down. And since we had to keep it interesting for our last planned stay, we managed to let Maddie’s port “infiltrate” last night, which means that the needle which is stuck into her port that allows IV fluids to flow into her became dislodged, thus allowing her IV fluid to flow under her skin (but not into a vein). So we had to torture her by removing the dislodged needle, then allow some time for the fluids under the skin to dissipate so that we could insert another needle to keep her fluids and IV medicine running through the night. This is something that happens very rarely, but it has happened to us one other time. It is really terrible for her as she hates to be restrained and this process takes alot of holding down. So we really went out with a bang. After it was all over, her fever had broken and it was almost midnight and she was totally wiped out, so we all slept really well for a night in the hospital. We were released as soon as we got up this morning and we are now at home waiting to see how she feels after this round.
This Thursday, my amazing grandmother Frances Cochrane passed away. She had had a rough last year or two, but the events were still somewhat sudden. I am relieved that she is not suffering anymore. We were so sorry not to be able to be there, but we are hopeful that if Maddie is not having too many side effects from this round, we may be able to make the drive to Weldon, NC to be with our family for her funeral tomorrow. My grandmother was an absolutely fabulous woman who has had lots of health issues that were taking the fun out of life for a while. We were blessed to have such a wonderful, strong woman in our lives. She will be greatly missed. We love you Gran!
So we are hopeful that we will take a road trip tomorrow. Then we will have a clinic visit Wednesday to check counts. We pray that Maddie does not develop a fever while her counts are low. She will be very immunocompromised from about Tuesday of next week until at least 2 weeks from now, but possibly for longer. We will be laying low as much as we can to avoid germs. If she does get a fever though, we will have an unplanned visit to the hospital, so we hope to avoid that if possible.
Love to everyone,
Liz, Brandon, and Maddie