Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stomach flu, MRI results and a new cycle

This week has been a long one.  Partial because we have been waiting to review Logan's MRI results and partially because we have been subject to a stomach flu throughout our household.

Logan had been acting off most of the weekend.  He wasn't really eating much and he just looked ill.  Sunday night it all began to make sense.  While sitting down at the dinner table, Logan began throwing up.  After he had stopped, I told him we would skip dinner and go sit down on the couch and watch a movie.  He insisted that he felt better and wanted to eat his dinner.  I didn't buy it and I'm glad I didn't.  He continued throwing up on and off till about 2AM when his system was finally empty.  I felt like it would be unusual for Logan to get ill from chemo randomly in the middle of an "off" week, so I had to assume a stomach flu.  On the one hand, a stomach flu would mean that the chemo wasn't effecting Logan, Good news.  On the other hand, it would mean that the rest of us were likely to succumb to the same fate, bad news.

A few hours later, when Ryan began throwing up, and then Parker was getting sick too, it was confirmed.  It was not the chemo making Logan sick.  Yay!!!??? ... right?  Somehow, I managed to avoid a similar fate.  Someone has to stay healthy right?  Who else is going to make a run to the store for Gatorade, make chicken rice soup or do 5 loads of vomit soaked laundry? 

After 24 hours on a limited diet and plenty of rest, everyone seems to be on the mend and life resumes as usual.

Last Monday Logan had his 7th MRI to evaluate any changes the chemo has had on his tumors.  I got a brief update from the neuro-oncology department that there were no significant changes on Logan's new MRI.  It was stable. This was enough to tide me over until our next appointment where we would get a chance to review it more in depth.  Thursday, we finally got to sit down and see it with our own eyes (not that we really know what we are looking at.)  Basically, the tumors didn't grow, they didn't shrink.  .

I have mixed feeling about this result.  My ideal outcome of course would be for the tumors to continue to shrink.  Don't get me wrong, Stable is good news.  It is not uncommon for tumors to be unaffected by treatment (as we experienced after the first round of chemo) or for them to stop responding to the chemo and continue to grow.  As long as they are not growing, I suppose I have to be satisfied. 

In addition to reviewing the MRI results and starting a new cycle, Logan was evaluated by his neuro-opthamologist. He passed his vision tests and even got to do some new exciting tests.  One of these was some kind of retinal scan.  Now, I can hold his head still till my arms fall off, but getting a 4 year old to keep his eyes still was a bit of a challenge.  He did probably the best he could.  Everything checked out with the neuro-opthamologist.  Next appointment in 3 months.

The final battle we had was dealing with the nausea.  After several weeks of ill results, the doctors decided to try a different anti-nausea drug.  This switch seemed to do the job, but only by a slim margin.  I had an entirely different ending to this paragraph and typed up and ready to go, but that didn't last.  Logan lasted through the entire session without throwing up, no matter how much he looked like he was going to.  We got home and through 1 viewing of his favorite Toy Story and then he lost it.  The change may have lessened and postponed the effects, but did not succeed in stopping it altogether.

Toward the beginning of his infusion, Logan made a plea, "I don't want to do this today".  I can't blame him, afterall, he just got over several days of feeling ill.  I can't even imagine what his little body is going through.  All I could do was encourage him to do his best and that in a few short hours he would be done and home to do whatever he wanted to.  What really struck me about his plea was the "not today" mentality.  He didn't cry about having to go through it, as I think most kids should, but instead it was as if he was saying "I know have to do it, but just give me a break."  I wish I could.

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