(That one's for you, Neil!)
Really, truly, honestly, I've been planning for several weeks--okay, maybe days--to write up some general information sort of posts. The kinds of medications Jacob's taking, the expected chronology of his treatment protocol, the shots I give him (I'm getting much steadier), the background of blood counts and what they mean and why we watch them.
But life just keeps happening.
Jake started radiation on Thursday, and went Friday as well. Except for having to wear the uncomfortable mask, keep the bite blocker in his mouth to protect his teeth, and lie perfectly still on an extremely hard board while a machine that looks like it belongs on the Enterprise circles around him . . . There's nothing to it :)
We love the people at the Huntsman Radiation Oncology clinic. Diane is the clinical supervisor and we adore her. She has an 11-year-old son of her own and knows just how they tick. (She was also very happy to hear that she would not have to play country music for Jake during his treatment--apparently they've had a run on country fans the last few weeks.)
The treatment itself takes from 10-20 minutes, depending on the day, which means we spend far more time in the car getting there and back. Two treatments down--twenty-six to go.
Chris and I rewarded ourselves last night by planning a Buffy watching party with our dear friends, Neil and Katie. It was supposed to be at their house, on their new flat-screen, HD television. But at 7:00, Jacob was shivering and complaining of being cold. When I took his temperature, it was 100.5--not a big deal, unless you're going through chemo. A temperature between 100 and 101 means watching for the next hour or so to see if it stays elevated. So Neil and Katie came to our house (bringing all the treats--our friends are spoiling us) and I took Jake's temperature between each of the last 3 episodes of Buffy Season 5. It went down, and then it crept back up, and by 10:00 it was 101.5.
A list of what followed: phoned the on-call oncologist at Primary Children's; recited Jake's fluctuating temperatures, his most recent blood counts, and his other symptoms (none); took Jake to our local ER (Timp Regional); had his port accessed, blood drawn for both blood counts and cultures; tried to read while my eyes dropped and I kept slipping down in the very uncomfortable chair next to his bed.
We were only there two hours. His blood counts were normal (for anyone, not just for a cancer patient), his temp had fallen to 99.4 and he had no other symptoms. So they de-accessed his port and sent us home, promising to let us know if the blood cultures showed anything.
Today's he's been fine, normal temperature, no symptoms except tiredness.
So was it a waste of time going to the ER? I prefer not to think about that. Because we can't ever be sure. We can't ever be complacent. And I figure this is my punishment for rolling my eyes over the years at the fussy, overprotective, incredibly nervous mothers who jump every time their child sneezes.
Now I'm one of them :)