Monday, February 4, 2013
Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 232
Wednesday - Phase 2B started, Jemma received cyclophosphamide through the iv. We stayed overnight.
Thursday - She had a lumbar puncture.
Friday - She received a quick shot of Alexan.
Saturday - She received a quick shot of Alexan.
Sunday - She received a quick shot of Alexan.
Monday - She received a quick shot of Alexan and L'Asparaginase. We spent the day in the hospital.
Cyclophosphamide is a strong chemo drug and very hard on the blood. She received this medication two times during Phase 1B. The first time she received it her white blood cell count dropped dramatically and she ended up with a fever. Her therapy had to be put on hold and she required several blood transfusions during the pause. The second time the fall wasn't quite as severe.
Two days ago she had 1600 Leukocytes and today she only had 800. Since they seem to be decreasing rapidly she has stopped taking her Thioguanine tablets at home for a few days. On Thursday her blood will be checked to determine how to proceed.
Going through Leukemia treatment with Jemma keeps reminding me of pregnancy.
Many pregnancies begin with morning sickness and loss of appetite. The medication Jemma is taking now cause both of those symptoms.
The second and third trimester of pregnancy are often filled with hunger and increased calorie intake. She definitely went through that when she was taking steroids. She also acquired a few stretch marks just like moms-to-be.
During pregnancy so much energy is spent growing a baby that many women sleep much more than normal. When Jemma was on steroids she slept all the time.
Pregnancy is filled with doctor's visits, ultrasounds and medical checks. So is Leukemia treatment.
Pregnancy lasts nine months. The intensive phase of Leukemia treatment lasts six months if there are no breaks or fevers, but usually takes longer. Jemma's is on track to last eight months.
Pregnancy changes lives and so does Leukemia treatment. At the end of pregnancy life dramatically changes again. We are looking forward to the day when Leukemia treatment becomes less intensive and life changes again.