Thursday, August 16, 2007

Big News, Day 8 Morning

Mood: Happy

Andy is essentially off the morphine now. He was awake most of yesterday and is awake today. His puffiness is going away and he's starting to look like Andy again. He's a little pissy, and who wouldn't be, but my baby is back. The last hurtle: a smile. I want to see that smile again.

Andy has finally pooped (4 times in 24 hours, actually!) and has finally had a bottle. Things are definitely getting better for the little guy.

Unless something happens to change things, Andy should begin chemo today, which means he should hopefully be home by Saturday. It is sounding like they will do anything and everything to keep him from being nauseated and vomiting, up to and including Marinol if necessary. Yeah, that's prescription pot. :)

So that's all of our news. For those of you who want details on chemo, read on.

Andy will undergo 4 chemo cycles, surgery to remove the tumor, then 2 more chemo cycles.

Each chemo cycle begins with a 3-day inpatient session to issue the Cisplatin. This is the drug that causes nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. What it does is kill any rapidly-dividing cells, hence the hair loss. This is also the drug that severely weakens his immune system. At this time, they will also begin his anti-nausea medications.

On day 3 of each cycle, he will receive his only dose of Fluorouracil (5-FU). This essentially has the same side effects as the Ciscplatin.

Also on day 3 of each cycle, he will receive his first dose of Vincristine. This causes hair loss, among other side effects. Like the other drugs, I'll let you follow the links and see for yourself.

On day 10 and day 17, he will receive more Vincristine.

The cycle lasts a total of 3 weeks, then we go back to day 1 with 3 days of inpatient service, pumping him full of fluids for the Cisplatin.

After the end of the first cycle, some blood tests should show that it is starting to take effect. In addition, we should see the tumor going down (yeah, you can see it just by looking at him).

After the end of the second cycle, they will do another CT scan to make sure the tumor is going down. If it is, they will continue as planned (see above). If not, we will start over again with a differnt type of chemo using Cisplatin and Doxorubicin. If we lived in Europe, this would be the method of chemo which would be used. It is not used in the US because of a marginal risk of some long-term side effects.

If this doesn't respond, then we're looking at liver transplant. We'll talk more about that if it comes to that, but that's plan C and we shouldn't get there.

So that's everything. Thank you all for your continued support.


Anonymous said...

When you were born, actually as you were on the way out, you grabbed the hemostats out of the doctor's hand and everyone laughed and at the same time and said " he's gonna be a doctor". I remember how proud that made me. Then when you were 10 or 11 I think it was , you calculated a mathmatical formula that was placed in the magic house and is still there to this day. That REALLY made me proud. Then you graduated college with 2 dgrees with a 3.89 GPA and went on to an MBA and that REALLLLLY made me proud. Then this happened with Andy and you have not left that baby's side for one minute. I have begged you to let me or your mother or someone take over and for you to GET OUT and be normal for a while. You will have NO part of it. You will stay with that baby until the bitter end; stand at the gates of hell if necessary. And that reminds how insignificant all the other things are that I was soooo proud of you for. I now realize as your father what a GREAT father and you are. How you refuse to let up and you stand firm in your beliefs as a father to that angel we call Andy. I hope in your mind's eye that I was ever or will ever be half the father to you that you are to my Grandchildren. And for that son, I can be NO prouder of you than I am right now. I really learned a lot from you and I love you.
Keep it up and know that I am here for you .


andrew 4 life said...

3.98, not 3.89. :)

Thank you though. It means a lot to me.