Scott & Sunny

Scott & Sunny

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Clearing" the Methatrexate

Derry and I are just back from hospital for night. Scott conked out finally and we left. A very up and down day. He'll get in a good mood and feel okay for a couple hours, then start struggling. Sometimes he wants us around, at other times he wants everyone out of the room. Sometimes he wants me to help him with something, then he wants Stephanie.

He's in the "clearing" process right now. That's eliminating the massive dosage of Methatrexate from his blood. It's a matter of using the antidote and flushing with fluids. The level of drug in his system was 88 when they stopped last night, it was down to 8 at noon today. he must get to a level of 0.1 to be released. With some luck, hopefully he can be sprung from the hospital tomorrow, but they only check his blood each 12 hours, and he'll lose 1 hour tonight for his noon blood work tomorrow.

All of this gets confusing and complicated. It's easy to wonder about what goes on in the course of a 108-week treatment regimen. I've put a link up at the top of the page which summarizes the treatment protocol Scott is following. The link refers to the protocol as a "study", which it is no longer. It is one of two accepted treatment protocols for his type leukemia. You can also click here to access the page.

The key difference in the study which resulted in the POG 9404 protocol is the very high dose methatrexate treatments on weeks 4, 7, 10 and 13. This weekend represents Scott's week 7 dose, and his week 7 started this past Thursday (March 8).

The first round of this beat him down for about a week, and it appears this round will do just the same. It is hard to tell if this one is easier or harder. Those type comparisons are very, very hard to make, as none of them can be labeled remotely close to "good". It stresses us all. Derry gets caught in the middle at times, and we turn around an realize he's losing complete weekends during hospital stays. He and I come home and do what we can muster the motivation to get done, then head back to the hospital. He complains very little.

Still no idea when it will be "safe" to have any visitors. We just can't see how it will remotely be an option until the last two rounds of HDM are finished and he's recovered, which will be another 7 weeks. We watch the rooms fill almost daily at the children's oncology ward with kids coming in unscheduled with fevers or infections. Just today, the ward was half empty at 1 pm. As Derry and I were leaving just before 11 p.m., another child was on the way in, which left only 1 room open I believe. We cross paths with the same kids and parents regularly while in the hospital or during his weekly clinic visits. It seems you sort of get instantly immersed in a separate society - one that none of the members wanted to join.

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