Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Broviac is out! Everything went well. I stayed with him in the OR with Peggy until he went to sleep. Peggy kept him distracted while they were setting up all of the anesthesia parephenalia. It took about an hour from when I left the OR until he was in recovery. This time, he was still asleep when we went to see him there. After about 15 minutes, he woke up and sat upright. He just looked around, probably thinking "where am I?" He was fine and was talkative until he noticed he had an IV in his hand. Once that was out, he was better and was dressed and ready to go within 10 minutes. Maria and Sarah came to the hospital after dropping-off Emily at the bus, so they were both there to see him right after he woke up. When I put him down, he immediately chased after Sarah.

We went upstairs to visit everyone in heme/onc. They all cheered when Anthony walked in the door. Anthony was happy to ride the tricycle around the floor without being attached to an IV pole. Before he left, Robin, Donna, and Peggy all gave him big kisses. He didn't put up too much of a fight.

When Emily got home from school, Anthony lifted his shirt to show her that he had no tubes. She was jumping around, giving him hugs, and saying "yeah Anthony!". She said she was thinking of him all day in school, but said she wasn't worried, because nothing ever happens to him. She made a card for him in school and had the kids in her class and the teacher sign it for him. It has a picture on the front of her and a caption describing what it is: "This is me carrying balloons for you." Inside she wrote: "To day is your speshl (special) day because you get your toobs (tubes) out!"

We celebrated by going out to Anthony's favorite restaurant, Friday's. The dinner was courtesy of the Parents and Staff from Briar Hill Preschool. They gave us a gift certificate a couple of weeks ago, along with some flowers and a nice card. The kids always have a lot of fun when we go out to dinner.

When he was going to sleep tonight, though, he said he was sad that he didn't have tubes anymore. I guess he got used to them being a part of him for almost a year and it now seems weird to not have those things dangling out of his chest.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

We go tomorrow to have the Broviac removed! Anthony is excited. Emily made a chart with a countdown to "toobs out". He puts a check next to each passing day. I hope the snow doesn't affect our scheduled time, or postpone this.

On another note, I just thought I would give a glimpse into our daily life with two little stories.

The other day, Maria was standing near Anthony while he was playing on the computer. He turned to her and said "I love you Mommy". She went to kiss him and this is what he said: "stay away, I'm sterile."

On Sunday, we were getting ready to give all three a bath, and I was in Anthony's room, getting clothes for him to wear. In walks Anthony with the bath visor on his bald head. He keeps walking around going "quack, quack, I'm a duck...quack, quack, I'm a duck..." Next, Sarah walks in with Anthony's ski hat on. She starts spinning around in circles. Then Emily runs in the room, naked, and says "tada". So, we're standing there with one child repeating "quack, quack, I'm a duck", another one spinning in circles and falling down, while wearing a ski hat over her eyes, another child running around naked. Controlled chaos, as Maria likes to say.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Today was the last clinic day for a month! Anthony went to get bloodwork and to check how his blood is coagulating so he can get the Broviac out. They had to take blood from his arm, not the Broviac. Maria said he cried, but kept his arm still without her holding it. He is a very brave boy and is mature beyond his years. I asked him later if it hurt and he said no, because he had the cream (LMX lidocain cream) on his arm. Maria doesn't know what she is going to do with her time on Tuesdays now.

He is scheduled to have the Broviac out next Wednesday and I will be going with him, by request.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I guess since we've been so nervous about these scans, Dr. Pan took a look at them along with the MRI radiologist and came to the conclusion that MRIs are just not good at looking at soft tissue next to bone. He then talked to the CT scan radiologist and both felt that what they see is just residual swelling or scar tissue due to the surgery. This is what the CT radiologist thought in the first place. He compared the November CT scan (something the MRI radiologist could not do, since there was no MRI in November) and said that there has been no changes. This is all very good. We've asked about PET scans before, so without us asking, Dr. Pan talked to the PET scan guy and he said PET scans would not be good here, since the feature we are talking about is so small and PET scans have a coarser resolution than CT or MRI.

So, as we thought after the first CT scan reading, everything is clear. The scans are being sent to Dr. LaQuaglia (the surgeon) anyway for Anthony's follow-up with him in April, so we'll have another pair of eyes looking at it, too.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Clinic day today. Anthony's counts were OK, that is, OK enough to stop the GCSF shots. WBC: 6,900; HGB: 8.2; PLT: 63,000. Someone finally looked at the MRI report and of course they say they see something near the patch that might be scar tissue or a recurrence. Dr. Drachtman said he is not worried about it, that the radiologists write it that way to cover themselves. Dr. Pan is going to take a look at it today (he is on the floor and wasn't in clinic) and will give us a call later or tomorrow. Yet another thing to make me nervous. I have a feeling stuff this will continue for quite some time.

The next step is to take out the Broviac. They have to do some kind of bleeding test in his arm next week, even if his platelets are good, to see if he has a bleeding problem before they can remove the Broviac. If they don't want anymore tests and the bleeding test goes well, he should get out the Broviac in 2 weeks.

The plan going forward, according to the protocol, is clinic visits once a month for the next 6 months, CT or MRI, and chest X-ray every 3 months for the next 4 years. That's right, 4 years. So, every 3 months for 4 years I should add a few more gray hairs.