Thursday, July 21, 2011

More indepth update on Nick 7/21/11

Yesterday (Wednesday, 7/20), Nick had another checkup, IVIG, and chemo. Kacie, Nick, and I also all had blood drawn to begin the HLA typing necessary to begin determining Nick’s eligibility for a bone marrow transplant.

I was very concerned about how Kacie would do with the blood draw. She does not do well with needles. I am very proud of her. She was awesome yesterday. I put some of the numbing cream I keep on hand for Nick’s invasive needle sticks on her inner elbows. She didn’t feel any pain at all. The worst part was the tourniquet.

I don’t know how long it will take for the test results come to back. I didn’t ask yesterday.

Nick’s physical exam was fine. Nothing new. His lab results were good as well. In fact, his iron levels are just a hair below normal. His body is finally absorbing iron! Yay!

I don’t remember how much, if at all, I’ve mentioned the problems with Nick’s iron absorption. One of the issues with chronic illness, especially Nick’s version of cancer, is the body’s ability to absorb iron. Anemia results very quickly when iron levels decrease. Nick began “leaking” iron a while back. The oncologist and the GI doc believe that it has likely been caused from some small amounts of blood loss due to the number of polyps in Nick’s small intestine. The oncologist’s main concern was getting the iron levels back up.

We are finally there!!! Nick has been taking 300 mg of iron three times a day for months. As of yesterday, that dose can go down to one time a day. Yay!

Nick got the “old” chemo yesterday. The oncologist is going to give the “new” chemo, but not until tomorrow.

Yes, that’s right. We have to go back tomorrow.

The chemo drug that Nick will be getting is one that he got 5 years ago when he was being treated for this same cancer. This particular chemotherapy is known for inducing an allergic reaction when given years apart. In order to try to prevent a reaction, the doctor wants to give the chemo very slowly. It will likely take four hours or more to get this first dose. If Nick doesn’t have a reaction this first time, he probably won’t during the subsequent doses. The first dose is very critical though.

Tomorrow (Friday, 7/22), we have to be back in clinic around 8:30 am. The chemo will get started hopefully by 9:30-10:00. Nick will be given Benadryl and other medications to help prevent any kind of reaction. If a reaction happens, the chemo will be stopped. Whatever emergency measures are needed to stop the reaction will be given. Once the reaction has passed, the chemo will be restarted. That’s just the process. I know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s how it is.

What will a reaction look like? It could be anything from an itchy rash, hives, shivering, nausea, (all of which would be a mild type of reaction) to anaphylaxis (severest reaction).

Please pray for NO REACTION!!!!

Nick will be at risk during the entire infusion. Needless to say, tomorrow is going to be just a little more stressful than usual.

Nick has been feeling pretty good today. This is great. I’m glad that the chemo from yesterday hasn’t made him feel bad.

I will be updating on Facebook throughout the day tomorrow. I’ll try to get an email update out by Saturday, I hope...

There are many, many prayer requests. I feel very overwhelmed at even trying to mention them all. I’m going to ask that you pray as God leads you to.

As always, we are trying to remain...

In His Grip,
Kristy Baxley

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