Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clinic 3/14

Our clinic visit yesterday was the fastest one yet. If we didn't have to wait for the prescriptions from the pharmacy, we would've been in and out of there within an hour and a half! But waiting for the drugs added another hour and a half. After he was accessed (which is NOT getting any easier), he had his zofran (anti-nausea) and then his chemo which only takes about 3 minutes. Then the doctor came to check him out. All of this was done in the dark because the Child Life Specialist came and brought him a triceratops flashlight to play with. So he, of course, had to have the lights off and the door closed. The nurse was so sweet and did everything by flashlight :) Carter's counts are low, but that's expected after all the chemo he got last week. White blood cell count 900 ANC 600. Hemoglobin 9.0 and platelets 129,000. He'll probably need another blood transfusion and/or platelets next week.

This picture is hanging in the playroom. One of the patients colored it and the words she wrote made me laugh.

So, how is Carter doing? This is a question that we're asked quite often. So here's a more detailed update for all those wondering. He's doing pretty good. That's what he'll tell you if you ask him :) He still wants to play a lot and be a normal 3 year-old boy. But there are some hard things going on over here. He rarely sleeps through the night. Maybe 2 or 3 times in the last 2 1/2 months. And that was when he had pain meds before bed. He wakes up every night screaming and crying because he's in pain. He can't tell us what hurts, so it seems that it's just everything. One of his medicines messes with his nerves and I think that's the culprit. His crying wakes up Jude, who then thinks it's morning and cries when we make him go back to bed. It's not pretty.
He throws up a lot. The good thing is, that afterward he's totally fine and doesn't seem too bothered by it.
He's losing weight. He weighs less than a pound more than Jude right now. His legs used to be so strong and looked so big and muscular next to Jude's. But now, they are just little sticks. He rarely wins in a tug-o-war against Jude. He rarely wins at anything against Jude. Jude is loving being the big tough one, and poor Carter is kinda scared of him. And then there's the never-ending medicine. Carter is just so sick of taking medicine every day! There's an antibiotic that he takes on the weekends and the taste of it makes him throw up. Sunday night, he threw it up the first time I gave it to him so the second time I mixed it with applesauce. It seemed to be a little better when he tried the first bite but then he still clamped his hand over his mouth and refused to eat any more. His awesome daddy took matters into his own hands and made a little deal with him. For every bite of applesauce-medicine Carter ate, Dennison would drink some vinegar. One thing that has come from all of this is that Carter kinda likes to watch other people suffer because it's finally not him! So this deal made him grin from ear to ear. It worked like a charm.
And one more thing. Let me just tell you how wrong it feels to have to wear gloves to even handle the medicine that I then let my child swallow or inject into his port which leads straight to his heart. We have to put the lid down and flush twice after he uses the potty, wear gloves when handling any bodily fluids, wear gloves when doing anything with his medicine. The nurses wear full on disposable gowns and gloves just to hook up the bag of medicine to his IV. Everything inside me screams, "THIS IS NOT RIGHT! I SHOULD NOT ALLOW THIS!"
But it's better than the alternative.

So the bottom line is that everyone in this house REALLY hates cancer.


  1. Oh Robin, how I wish I could make this all go away! Our thoughts and prayers are with you always; we know you are in the Lord's care and that little miracles and mercies are in your life daily. We love you.

  2. There are so many things I take for granted everyday. It is so sad that it usually takes seeing someone I love going through something so devastatingly hard to make me appreciate how EASY my life is. We pray for you every day and take comfort knowing that this won't go on forever. Love and kisses-Rachel

  3. I just had to type in scorp in order to post my previous comment. As in FLYING Scorps!!

  4. Oh my gosh, Robin. What a hard thing to go through. It is just crazy! I feel for you as much as I can, though of course I can't understand. I am really glad you told us more about how he is doing, though. We want to know. We love you guys and are thinking about you ALWAYS!! You are amazing - Carter especially. Hang in there somehow, as I know you will.