Saturday, 1 February 2014

Lucky 13

It's been a long month, but today's a good day at the hospital.

Twenty-eight days ago Dom began his fourth round of chemotherapy. Twenty-one days ago we started waiting for his counts to go up. And 13 days ago, he was put on isolation because of the adenovirus he came down with.

His counts are still low, and he's had two red blood and four platelet transfusions this round alone. It makes you appreciate how important it is to give blood - which is exactly why Trish did just that on Monday.

Given how the combination of isolation and a super active, now-walking baby, she would've been fine to just ask for some time off. After all, I'm only here two nights a week to her five. Nope, had to go the extra mile and give back a bit while grandma babysat!

It's been a crazy time for more than just the isolation or the stress of waiting for his counts. With the bone marrow transplant coming up — he will be back in hospital Feb. 17 to start the pre-transplant chemotherapy — there are lots of tests to do. They want baselines on everything from his nine teeth to his heart, liver and eyes.

Some of the tests take a while. For the liver they injected something into him and then took blood three times at one-hour intervals to see how it was processed. Others, like the dental exam, are a matter of rolling him over to a doctor in the same hospital, opening wide for 30 seconds and then exclaiming 'yep, he's got teeth!' But if you missed something and then checked after the transplant, it could be a problem.

Yesterday we went for an ambulance ride. No, not THAT kind of ambulance ride. One with the lights off as we were taken to the Rockyview Hospital for his eye exam. They have to bring along legal documents so we can't drive ourselves. Once there, the eye clinic staff said we didn't have an appointment. So what should've been a quick in-and-out process took a couple hours. All to hear the opthamologist exclaim, 'yep, he's got eyes!' Truth be told the ride was actually pretty fun though. We'll be doing it again when he has radiation Feb. 24 at the Foothills Hospital.

Speaking of radiation, we met with those folks to go through the details. He'll be wedged into a tiny bed and then covered with gel packs that help to even out the full-body radiation he'll receive. It's not a ton of radiation, 400 units, but it's new and thus scary. A lot of parents see their child with all the packs and freak out because it looks like a coffin. He also has to put to sleep because you can't move, can't even have anyone else in the room while the radiation is on.

Anyhow, back to today.  This morning, his counts rose a tiny bit. But they'd only ever been falling, so it's a clear turning point to us. It also saved him another red blood transfusion, which would've meant three hours hooked up in his crib.

Instead, word came that he's finally clear of the virus, and thus off of isolation. I immediately put him in his scrubs and we strode off into the hallway. We met an old friend who's nearing the end of her bone marrow transplant recovery, and made a couple new ones.

Day 13 on isolation was lucky. We're crossing our fingers that there's more good news soon, so that Dominic and Trish can come home to Medicine Hat before the transplant begins.


  1. Oh we are hoping you can get home before the 17th too.
    Thinking of you.
    13 isn't such a bad number after all!
    Stay strong guys!

  2. Praying that your little guy can spend some time at home before the big transplant. Again, I admire your strength and ability to stay positive after such a rough stretch.