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taken 8/4/07

Courtney and her kids

Courtney and her kids
taken 8/4/07

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 1 Consolidation

New round of chemotherapy and new hospital. After meeting with Dr. V last Thursday and deciding that we would proceed with a bone marrow transplant, we also decided Courtney would undergo the recommended round of consolidation chemotherapy under her care at UT Southwestern. We figured that since she would be going there for the transplant, we might as well go there now, allowing ourselves a chance to get to know the doctors and facilities, and allowing the doctors the opportunity to become familiar with Courtney. This way they will have a few weeks of first hand knowledge or her condition and reactions to the chemotherapy and other medications before the transplant procedure begins.

The hardest part about switching facilities is leaving behind the awesome nurses, techs and doctors that became like family during our stay at Harris Methodist. However, so far, everyone here at Zales has been great. And we have to admit the room is quite a bit nicer than her room at Harris Methodist. Note to Harris Methodist, the onocology floor is well past time for a serious makeover. A simple fresh coat of paint would go a long way. And get rid of the bump at the entrance to the bathroom; it’s a pain trying to get the IV pole over that all the time. A couple of little extra perks include a small fridge and dvd player. These small things just help ease the burden of being away from home, especially during an extended period of time.

So, the first day of consolidation came and went fairly quickly. We checked in shortly before 8:00 AM. At around 9:00 AM Dr. V came in with her PA (Laura), and the PharmD who will be verifying her chemo treatment. They said they would put a PICC line in, but this time they would use flouroscopy to see the line as it went in. At 9:30, Laura said Radiology was booked for the day and that she couldn't get her PICC until tomorrow, but would have Dr. V call down and use her influence. At 10:15, Laura came back to tell us she was on the schedule for Noon. Five minutes later, her nurse came in and said they were on their way to get her. By 11:30 she was back in her room after a flawless PICC line installation in her left arm. She flew through it without a single sedating drug and only local anesthesia! Much better than last time!!

Less than two hours later, Dr. Rohm came in to give her a spinal tap. This was a precautionary procedure to check her spinal fluid for leukemia. There are some forms of AML that appear in the spinal fluid and have to be treated with specific drugs. While they didn’t think her type would have this, they just wanted to make sure. This was obviously not a pleasant experience for Courtney. The main side effect has been head aches, but she’s doing great.

Laura the PA gave us some for information about the chemo and the duration of her stay. It will be similar to induction, with side affects occuring a week to 10 days later and her counts dropping to zero and going back up at a similar rate to what we saw last time. If she has a fever over 100.6 at any time, she will probably stay in the hospital until her neutrophils are back to 1000. If she looks good after the treatment, she will probably be sent home with instructions to return every other day. If during that time she gets a fever, she will probably be readmitted. Just like the induction treatment, she will need blood and platelet transfusions as her bone marrow goes off line. If she's not in the hospital, they will do the transfusions in the clinic as needed. They plan to leave her PICC line in when she goes home and set up a home health nurse to flush the line as needed. So, while were planning to be able to go home at the end of the week, we’re prepared to stay for the next 3 to 4 weeks if necessary.


Amy said...

YAY.. for a flawless PICC line!
Megan wants to wish you a Happy Halloween:) She said you made a good Doctor the other day.

Bryner Family said...

Wow, that sounds like a pretty cushy pad you got there, Courtney! :) Good luck with everything and I hope I'll get to see you the next time you come home. We were out of town last weekend and I was so bummed when I found out I missed seeing you at the Trunk or Treat! Hope to see you soon!


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