Sunday, January 29, 2012

01/29/12 - Finger Pretzels!

We came, we saw, we conquered in-patient visit.  Adam's counts were up on Thursday, so they admitted us Friday.  He and I went in at 10:30 Friday morning to the clinic to see Dr. Beach and get his port line accessed.  At 2 pm he went in for the LP.  He threw up again.  At 3:30 we had a room and headed over to 5 East in the main hospital.  5 East is not the same as 5 South.  If 5 South was the Ritz, 5 East was Motel 6.  But we had a great nurse, Tom, and a pretty smooth night.  We shared a room with Lily who had been there since she was 9 months old (now 3 1/2) for an in-operable tumor (undergoing chemo to treat).  She was a noisy roommate, but made me want to come back and visit her.  Can you imagine?  Poor baby!  We also met Ava in clinic who is 3 and was diagnosed with ALL two weeks ago.  Her family is from Nevada and was airlifted from their small town to Reno to Oakland.  I just remember how quickly we went to our pediatrician to the blood draw place and were admitted at Children's when Adam was diagnosed.  We didn't see it coming.  So, to be uprooted like that and "wake up" after the dust settles in Oakland, thousands of miles from home - family, friends, you name it - that would have been overwhelming!  Ava was shy, but looked like a little trooper.  I thought we would be able to hang out more after the LPs, but we didn't get to join them in 5 South like I thought.  It's kind of strange that I miss that place...

Anyways, Adam did very well, once again.  He had to take 6-TG.  This is a one-time (I think) chemo in pill form.  It is called an "antimetabolite."  Antimetabolites prevent cell division.  There are about 5 different types in the chemotherapy treatment (Adam has taken 2 others prior to this one) and each one interferes with different substances in the body.  For example, the Mexotrexate he was getting in clinic in Nov (and will be getting again in a couple weeks) was a folic acid antagonist.  The 6-TG is a purine antagonist.  The chemistry is kind of complicated, but the simple way I understand is that purines are part of the chemical structure of our DNA.  The danger of 6-TG is in the past kids' have developed liver problems.  It is important that a lot of fluids are ingested to wash the drug out of the body so it doesn't sit in the bladder.  The doctors had Adam on an IV for 18 hours and checked his urine (for toxins and blood).  Once the toxins were gone (and no blood showed up) we could go home.  Everything went as planned.  Well, medically speaking.  I had planned to have a big room with a view and sleep on the comfy bed with Adam.  Instead we had the door side of a closet-sized room and I "slept" on the chair.  But that's me being petty.

The other drug in this phase of chemo is Ara-C.  Ara-C is also an anti-metabolite, but is injected through the port.  Here's the fun part - Adam came home with his port still accessed so we can administer the injections at home.  Fun!  I was a little squeamish yesterday when I did the first one, but it's not bad.  The Ara-C is a Pyrimidine antagonist, and I don't really know the difference between purine and pyrimidine except in chemist terms "purine has two carbon-nitrogen rings and pyrimidine has one carbon-nitrogen ring."  Basically, we're dealing with Adam's chemical structure in his body and altering the cell formation to make sure no more cancer cells show up.  

So, Josh and I are happy that Adam is home and we can administer the Ara-C here.  Adam is not.  He would like to go back to the hospital.  He is self conscious about the port.  I wanted to take a picture of it accessed, but that is not going to happen yet (maybe next time, we have to do this again next weekend).  Instead, I have chose to share some of the things we did to entertain ourselves in the hospital.  

#1 - pretzel fingers.  Food is just more fun eaten off of fingers.

#2 - licorice straws.  Everything tastes better when drinking out of a licorice straw.  Except, maybe orange juice.  Adam liked water the best.  His lips are still red a day later!

So then we had some interesting, technical things I'd like to note.  First, our insurance made us get the Ara-c from a delivery truck.  It is a home delivery company, Crescent Healthcare in Hayward, that brings meds to you.  We were in the hospital, so we have this ominous cardboard box in our room.  I am thinking Amazon is amazing by hunting me down to deliver my latest order, but instead it is this box of chemo, saline, rubber gloves, and antiseptic wipes.  Just a different experience than going to the pharmacy.  

Also, I get to my car, which is parked for 30+ hours (10:30 Friday morning to 4:30 Saturday afternoon), and lovely to find a ticket.  What?  What police officer is wandering through the Children's Hospital parking garage looking for expired tags?  Officer Lopez was.  Ugh! First, I had no idea my tags were expired.  Usually, you get the reg in the mail, pay it, stickers come, stick them to the plate.  I will have to look into that.  Second, it is a parked car!  But I guess parents whose kids are sick have to follow the laws too.  I am just having a hard time understanding why that cop, in east Oakland, didn't have something better to do... Hmph.

The end.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Hendren family! Just checking in on you'll! We have been praying for you guys!
    I think i want to hunt Officer Lopez down and give him a piece of my mind!!