11 April, 2011

The Roller Coaster

Since my morning post, Robert did in fact develop another fever.  We went to the hospital this afternoon where blood cultures were taken, antibiotics and fever reducer were administered, and we were subsequently released.  I was rather surprised to be sent home, another one of the benefits of this surprise window of high ANC that we are experiencing.  For the first time since this all started, we are actually allowed to give fever reducer here at home tonight, and in the early morning.  If he has a fever after 10 am he has to go back to the hospital.  If he manages a cool head, and feels well enough, he can make a trip to school for a half day on Wednesday.  It was difficult to see his face this morning when Kasie told him he could not go to school, and he would have to go to the hospital.  He was very excited to see his friends.  Last night he laid out his clothes and got his backpack and everything ready to go.  I hope he gets a chance to go a few times before this window closes.  We are very happy that he may get a chance to go to school, at least a few times.  It was not expected to happen before the end of the year.  Next week is back to the hospital for another high does of the Methotrexate.  Even if his counts stay high, we will start having to contend with the side effects of the meds as the treatment progresses.  So it is possible that his counts will remain high, but for him to feel too sick to go.  So far so good regarding the mouth/ throat sores, one of my bigger fears.  They just sound so excruciating, I pray that he can be spared from them.  He has two bad ingrown toenails  which are causing him some pain.  Another little present under the chemo side effect tree.  So at home were constantly swishing mouthwash, taking pills, getting sick, and soaking feet.  But at least were at home.

Now what?

We were able to enjoy a beautiful weekend at home since leaving the hospital.  Yesterday was the kind of day that one would ask for. It was 88 degrees, the boys helped me water the flowers, and right as we finish the ice cream truck rolls through....great day.  We have been floating on a cloud over Robert's ANC counts.  It turn out that as rough as this Methotrexate is, it does not greatly reduce counts like the other therapies.  This means that we are enjoying a small window where we can ease up on most of the precautions and isolation that we have become accustomed too.  In fact, his ANC is so high and he was feeling so well, that we were going to let him go to school for a half of a day this week!  He is very excited about getting to seem some friends.

We hit a bit of a bump in the road.  He developed a terrible cough last night.  A persistent cough can be a side effect of an allergic reaction to Methotrexate.  So we didn't let him go to school today, and Kasie called the docs for direction.  In the absence of a fever they are not overly concerned, and directed us to the Pediatrician.    Could just be a cold, which is actually ok at this moment because he is in this window of strong immunity.  Could be allergies,as the pollen count here is off the charts right now.  We are holding our breath on the mouth sore issue.   If they develop, they usually begin  3-7 days after treatment.  Today is day 6 and I believe that he may have one small one.  He uses a mouth wash four times a day to help prevent them, hopefully they will stay at bay.  Maybe school tomorrow, I'd sure hate for him to miss this opportunity.