Friday, October 23, 2009

Taxol/Gemzar Cycle 1 Treatment 2

Today is Sean's 2nd treatment of the taxol/gemzar. He's currently passed out asleep from all the benadryl he had as a pre-med....

Last week Sean did pretty well after his 1st treatment. He experienced some aches associated with the taxol but was able to take some of his pain medication to deal with that. He has a slightly unpleasant taste in his mouth, no hair loss yet, and minimal fatigue. His appetite has been normal this past week and he's been able to keep up pretty well with school and other activities. His spirits are still high and he's pushing through.

We met with Dr. Chandramouli in the office today before Sean started his treatment. He said that he took a look at the PET scan Sean had and was able to see the "hot spots", those being the active tumors within Sean's body. He said that he plans to repeat a scan (whether it's CT or PET I'm not sure) after Sean's 2nd cycle, so toward the end of November. This, along with weekly AFP checks, will help determine how Sean is responding to this treatment. The goal is to complete 6 cycles which, if everything goes smoothly and nothing has to be delayed, would put him finishing around April, 2010.

The concern right now is Sean's white bloodcell counts, which are low. He's not neutropenic like he was when he was on the high-dose chemo but he is more susceptible to infection than a normal healthy person his age. He just needs to be careful about exposure to sick people and will be getting both the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccinations. He cannot have the nasal spray H1N1 vaccination, however, because that is the active-virus form which cannot be introduced into the body of someone with a compromised immune system--obviously. Having a low white blood cell count can affect whether or not he is able to undergo the chemotherapy treatments and Dr. Chandramouli said he'd like to push him through today's treatment. The plan is to have Sean come in for either neupogen or nulasta shots (I can't remember which drug he's getting) Monday-Thursday of next week. These shots will help boost his white bloodcell counts and help keep his body up and running against infections. We asked what would happen if his white cell counts got too low for him to do treatments and Dr. Chandramouli said he'd have to delay the treatments until he is strong enough to resume but hopefully with the shots we won't have to delay anything.

**Again--Sean is allowed to be out and about in public and do normal day to day activities. I have had the seasonal flu vaccination already this season to ensure I don't get sick and pass it along to him.

Sean will have his 3rd treatment for cycle 1 next Friday, October 30 and will not be meeting with a provider that day. He will be meeting with Rick again though, during his off week, for a follow up visit to see how he's doing. He had blood drawn today and they are going to check on his AFP levels which should be in on Tuesday of next week. We'll know after about 2 cycles whether or not he's responding to treatment. He was able to reach Dr. Einhorn via email who told Sean that he's still hopeful of a cure with this treatment he's going through so that's good news for us.

So far we're both doing okay. We aren't really in need of anything except prayers right now. If there is a need for anything though, we'll let everyone know. We really appreicate all the support we've had from all of our friends, family, and strangers over the last 2 years and we're grateful that the support continues.



Jan said...

Hang in there! You are a true warrior. You are in my prayers constantly.

Terry said...

Thank you for the updates you guys. It's great for me especially out here in Cali. Sending lots of love to you both. God Bless you both.

Auntie Terry :o)