|Owen is under the sheet. It only took us til round 4 or 5 to figure out that this was the best way to administer the stinky chemo.|
|Celebrating the final dose and round of 14 chemo admissions.|
If you've ever known someone, a kid, who has done cancer treatment then you probably have heard about the "bell". The bell is something that kids who spend time at Primary Children's Hospital know about. They hear other kids ring the bell, parents hear other kids ring the bell. I thought the day that Owen would ring the bell would never come. I bet he felt the same way. Well, he rang the bell.
|The infamous bell|
|What an accomplishment. It was a family adventure and we are proud of him.|
We have already been back for a day visit since the last chemo admission. As it goes, Owen's red blood counts were low and within four days he already needed to get red blood cells. Getting red's means improving energy and feeling better. It takes all day but it makes Owen much happier. The process goes something like this:
Arrive at the clinic at Primary
Get vitals, meet with a nurse and doctor
Take a blood sample and send for type and cross (to ensure he gets proper matching blood)
Wait 2+ hours for type and cross
Receive blood from bank and take vitals again and begin infusing
Wait 2 hours while blood infuses
Take vitals multiple times during process
Finish infusing and flush
Stay 45 mins for observation of any side effects or changes
Change valves and flush/lock lines
|Watching a movie and waiting patiently for his new blood|
Left home at 8:00am and home again at 4:30pm
If he needs platelets in addition, add another hour. I'm not complaining, I'm just sharing another aspect of something I won't miss now that chemo is over. Owen has had approximately 15-20 blood and or blood product transfusions over the course of treatment. We have a lot of strangers to be grateful for.
Next on the road map (this is a form they presented at diagnosis to help us know what to expect for Owen's course of treatment) is radiation. Or should I say "was" radiation. We had planned and were ready for a radiation course of 10 doses. We had met with our radiation Doctor, went to the mapping appointment for scans and consultation. Dan and I both had hesitations, questions, answers and some uneasy feelings. It seemed that it must be done and the doctor was in the process of finishing his plan and administration plans. Our first appointment was scheduled on February 18th. Without knowing how exactly this second dose of radiation would effect Owen, it was a challenge. The doctor felt the same. It was on Thursday when the planned radiation became no longer in the plan. I got a call in the middle of the day from our Dr. informing me that due to several factors he felt it was no longer safe or wise to do the doses of radiation. There were several things leading to this decision. I'd like to say prayers were answered in a way, but I don't know that the doctor had been praying? I'd like to think that he was, but I know I certainly was. Dan and I wanted to do the best thing for Owen while giving him the best chance at beating every last cancer cell. Side effects were not going to be awesome if they presented due to the treatment. I think that as much as we were hoping it would be the last clean sweep of cancer cells, we also hoped that his scans up to this point would possibly show to be so positive that they may be able to reduce dosing amounts and even hoped that we may not need radiation. Overall, the decision to omit the last radiation treatment was due a combination of things and after weighing risks with benefits our doctor is not okay with going through with any more. It has taken me a few days, but the reality is we are truly at the end of the road map. We are not done with the battle. Owen will always keep fighting, but we have made it through the biggest part of treatment. Scans and appointments are still to follow. MRI, Echo-cardiogram, Orthopedic consultation and follow up appointments are still on the calendar. It is amazing and a blessing to be at this point. POSITIVE RESULTS are what we have been hearing and plan to continue to hear.
|Owen had a lot of friends, school mates and teachers|
share Valentines with him. It took a large box to get them home
|Playing a Valentine game at school.|
Once again we want to thank family and friends for their support. It is week by week and day by day at times but we are so happy to be at a point where we can work on getting Owen completely healthy. We know we have been blessed and that without prayers of many, many others we would not have made it this far. Keep sending us your positive vibes and as Owen continues his battle with cancer we hope to share many more great successes. Total health is our goal, and his goal is to feel good and do kid things again, too. We are definitely on our way.