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Week 1 (Induction Phase)

rev.dennis

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It’s 3am on 2/17/2020 and we are in a room on the 9th floor in Karmanos Cancer Facility in Detroit.

This is the beginning of the Induction process which in short means the beginning of chemo treatments while keeping a close eye on Kate during the process.  The doctor believes this will take less than a week this visit but the Induction process is typically a week.

There are four phases to chemotherapy treatment:

  • The first phase is called Remission Induction. Treatment during this phase is designed to kill the leukemic cells in the blood and the bone marrow, putting the disease into remission.
  • The second phase is Central Nervous System Directed Therapy. This phase kills cancer cells in the central nervous system and prevents the disease from spreading to the spinal fluid.
  • The Consolidation/Intensification phase is given after the disease is considered to be in remission. It's designed to kill remaining leukemic cells that may be inactive but could begin growing again and cause the leukemia to recur. This phase usually lasts several months.
  • The maintenance phase is the final phase of treatment that lasts for two to three years. It's used to kill any remaining cells that could cause a recurrence. Medications are often given at lower doses.

stay tuned for more updates



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Dennis, get the book Dear Cancer. It has a lot of information on chemotherapy and radiation side effects. My wife is the author. Ann Tracy Marr. Lots of information on what Kate is going through now.

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31 minutes ago, Rick said:

Dennis, get the book Dear Cancer. It has a lot of information on chemotherapy and radiation side effects. My wife is the author. Ann Tracy Marr. Lots of information on what Kate is going through now.

Thanks Rick

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LABs moved up to twice a day because of Chemo they need to keep monitoring blood counts.

As of now, morning labs came back with hemoglobin 7+ & platelets 33 so no blood transfusion at the moment.  We'll have another bloodwork around 5pm tonight and we'll see what her numbers are then.

We are still on track for going home Friday and we are both hoping that stays true since she is going stir crazy being cooped up in the hospital.

I may leave today to go get a shower and change of clothes since we are here until Friday.  I feel disgusting so need a refresher.  Hoping they validate the parking since we have been there since Sunday.

Nurses helped kate change into a new gown and I got her a breakfast bagel.  They flushed the PICC line to help the machine stop beeping because of blockage.  They also recommended her getting up and walking the floor.

Bandage for PICC line will be changed before we go home which will be nice even though we are only home for Saturday and Sunday and back on Monday for an all day treatment but its suppose to be outpatient so we'll be able to go back home.

She is getting Zofran for nauseous at 9am

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Kate got another dose of antibiotics and her daily steroid at 10:15am

  • antifungal: diflucan
  • antibacterial: bactrin
  • antiviral: aciclovir
  • steroid: prednisone which she'll get every day during the induction phase (roughly 28 days)

And still getting the IV drip of cefepime (2gm/100mL) which is also used to treat bacterial infections.

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Kate got about 3 hours sleep last night.  They said the chemo chemicals would cause sleeplessness. Kate is getting headaches but they give her a Tylenol 3 before going to sleep and it helps relieve the pain and allow her to sleep.

They took blood at 5am and Hemoglobin dropped to 7.1 and Platelets dropped to 24k.

She is also still getting some nausea but the Zofran does help relieve it.

 

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my prayers are constantly with you two!!! I am glad she has the support system she has. During all this it is critical. I hope she can get some sleep soon 💖 please let me know if I can do anything to help

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So today we walked around the floor with her pet IV stand closely in hand. She decided to wear a gown with an exposed back which proudly displays the lovely bruises from the bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture.  We did two Different walks which all together equals about 1/2 mile walked today.

they dropped her bloodwork to once a day instead of the typical twice a day.

No bowl movement since Tuesday so they gave her some Colace.

she should get bloodwork at either 3am or 5am, then blood transfusion. Odd but her hemoglobin has to be less than 7 for her to get a blood transfusion and it was at 7.1 this morning so we all know it will be low 6 probably tomorrow morning which will prompt the blood transfusion allowing Kate and I to go home for the weekend.

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They did bloodwork this morning around 4am and we just got the results (7am) that Kate’s hemoglobin is back down to 6.7 so now they can order the blood transfusion.

Platelets are holding at 24 but her potassium went down so she needs to take the biggest pill you have ever seen.  Looks like she may need to take some miraLAX.

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at 10:06am she took the potassium pills but the nurse was nice enough to crush the HUGE pills up and mix it with some orange juice to help kate take them.  She said it tasted like generic tang...  not great but WAY better than trying to swallow a hot wheels car.

She is receiving her 9th bag (unit) of blood so we can go home.  They will need to do bloodwork after the bag is in her system, change the bandage around the PICC line and we should be able to go home.  We are guessing around 2pm but not sure.

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11am kate just got her dose of all her anti-biotics and miraLAX and her steroid.  Still getting blood transfusion.

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