Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Cycle 1, Day -1: A Day of Rest

We got the news today that Doug's uncle Jim died early this morning from lung cancer. This was not unexpected, but still very sad, and Steven cried.

Steven can have visitors who aren't sick and who aren't patients. Patients at St. Jude's can't come because almost all of them have compromised immune systems, and kids with compromised immune systems can carry bad bacteria and viruses.

Steven must bathe twice a day with betadine in the wash water to remove bacteria on his skin. He must wash his mouth four times a day with antibacterial and antifungal mouthwashes. His blood counts aren't too bad now, but next week we expect his white blood cell counts to hit zero. With no white cells to fight infection, he is extremely susceptible to disease and, if he gets sick, his only symptom will be fever, things like sore throat, runny nose and cough are caused by white blood cells fighting the disease.

If he gets a fever above 101, he will return to the hospital for IV antibiotics. If his blood counts go to zero, he will get outpatient blood transfusions. His doctors say he might have one "good" week before he goes back to the hospital and we do this all over again.

We know three other little boys between the ages of 7 and 9 with the same type of tumor and who are doing the same treatment as Steven, but it's looking like we won't be able to see much of them because of the danger of infection.

The doctors keep telling us this will become routine for us by the second or third cycle. Right now this is difficult to imagine, it all feels like we woke up on Mars or that this is some sort of bad dream, this land of chemo and bone marrow transplants.

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts. We love you all.

- Kathleen

< ? Blogging Mommies # >
Listed on BlogShares