We have made it through the delayed intensification phase of treatment and now are partway through interim maintenance II. In about a month or so, we’ll finally hit the long term treatment schedule…maintenance. For a while now it’s seemed like the holy grail of treatment. Finally we will be on a regular routine that lasts for more than four or six weeks, and hospital chemo will be down to once per month. Hurray! It seems like a dream!
That said, I’ve been talking to some other mums who found maintenance to be a rocky road with many trips to emergency and sickness. I’m aware that we could be in the same boat, but so far I’ve been constantly amazed and thankful at how healthy Sam has been. Even though they are pumping crazy chemo chemicals through his body, he has stayed well, usually goes to school and often has energy. I asked the doctor if it’s normal to be doing so well, and she replied, “We’d like all our kids to be going as well as Sam.”
Thank you God for your grace on us!
The delayed intensification phase was…well… intense. Sam had a lot of chemo, lost his hair, and we made numerous trips to Brisbane. One of the hardest parts was giving him injections at home. The nurses had inserted an access point, called an insuflon, in his thigh where we poked the needle in to inject the chemo. Sam was quite terrified of the whole process. It didn’t hurt for the needle to go in, but it was rather uncomfortable and his thigh sometimes hurt for several minutes after the medicine went in. The scariest part for Sam was the first time we had to remove the insuflon. That was big. It took over 45 minutes of tears, reasoning, prayer, distraction, encouragement, bribery, etc before getting it out. In the end I had to hold on to Sam while Chris just pulled it out. We’ve found Sam’s biggest reactions and fears come from the unknown. Every time something is new, he’s pretty freaked out. However, I’d also say he’s getting braver and quicker to come to terms with scary things when encountered a 2nd or 3rd time.
Now that we’re out of the intense phase, Sam’s hair is growing back and his energy has picked up again. My heart broke for him when he reported the results of his cross country race a few weeks ago. When I asked how it went, he stated, “kinda good and kinda bad.” The good part was that he finished the race. The bad part was that he finished last. Even though he has energy, he just doesn’t have the endurance. Not surprising when his blood cells are constantly being knocked back by the chemo. However, it’s truly amazing that even was able to do the race at all, and for that I am again grateful.