Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Clinic, more blood, more platelets, some fish

Our clinic visit on Monday was kinda rough. In addition to the usual port access, Carter had to get two shots in his legs. The Aspariginase medicine has to be injected into a muscle. He was not a happy camper. He also got Vincristine through his port. His counts are really low. The nurse even did a second sample to make sure it was right. White cell count of 700 and ANC of 400. Hemoglobin 5.8 and platelets 18,000. So the doctor set up an appointment for the next morning to get blood (just red cells) and platelets. I knew that appointment would be rough because of the extra pokes so I told Carter that morning that if he was really brave at the hospital then we would get him some fishies. He really loves fish. So that night he got 3 fish since he had 3 pokes. He really is such a brave boy!

(He refuses to name them anything but "fish 1" & "fish 2". "Fish 3" didn't make it very long...)

So yesterday morning we headed back to the hospital. We didn't get off to a great start - he threw up in the parking lot. And to the family who walked by us, sorry you had to see that. Once we got in, I asked the nurse to give him some zofran (anti-nausea) through his port, since he refuses to take the oral form at home. He was fine the rest of the day, thank goodness. His port was still accessed from the previous day, so yesterday was easy and fun. His counts were even lower than Monday. White cells 400 and ANC of 0. Yikes. Hemoglobin 5.3 and platelets 13,000. The blood takes about 3 hours to infuse then the platelets take another hour. We ended up being there for about 7 hours all together. There's usually volunteers in the playroom who do crafts and play games with the kids. The girl who was there yesterday was amazing. She played with Carter a lot. She even helped him make this crown:
He had a lot of fun. I was so glad to have a easy fun day at the hospital finally! Maybe I won't have to drag him out the door to go back next week. :) And today, after getting blood, he's got all sorts of energy. He and Jude are racing around the house. And Carter's winning!

Monday, I also got a little more information about his next round that starts April 7th. I'm not looking forward to it. It will start with a clinic visit with a sedation for a lumbar puncture. From there, he will be admitted to the hospital and receive a drug that's called something like "high dose methotrexate". I don't remember the exact name, but I'll tell you next week after I meet with Carter's doctor. Anyways, the drug is very intense. A day or two after it's given, he will be given a "rescue drug" to stop the first one from, well, killing him. Once the toxicity level in his blood goes down enough (usually about 4-5 days total in the hospital), we will get to go home for whatever is left of two weeks. Then we'll do it again, 4 times total.

Sounds fun, huh?


  1. Great pictures Robin, I am glad Carter likes the monkey hat. We are amazed at your strength, I know there's not much you can do but keep going, but you make us proud. We sure love you all!!!

  2. Robin, you are amazing! Thank you for keeping us updated and all the pictures among your business. Adam saw these pictures and kept asking "Why did Carter get a sucker?" and he loves Carters batman shirt. :) We think of your family often!

  3. Oh, it sounds awful. I really can't imagine. What a nightmare cancer is. But what can you do? You are all doing awesome and Carter is definitely sooo brave! I love fish #1 and fish #2.

  4. Oh Robin. I can't believe all that Carter is going through at such a young age. You are angels for being so strong and making it through this! We love you and are praying for you and your family.
    Love, LeAnn, Scott and family

  5. I am so sorry to hear about so much more hospital time! Let me know if we can help out at all once this next round starts- meals, babysitting, whatever... And I am happy to see the batman jammies are getting put to good use :). Hang in there Robin! You are always in my prayers.

  6. WOW!!! I can not imagine! You and Dennison are soo strong! Thanks for keeping this blog up. I think about you guys all the time.

  7. Oh Robin! We love you! We are always here whatever you need. Always praying for you.