Monday, October 08, 2007

The Long Goodbye

Well, well...Did Chez Healing hear my cries? I'm in!

We're back for our last bout of fever, and hopefully we'll only be here a few days. We knew this was coming, so this really marks the potential end of hospitalizations. From here we just move up...Hopefully.

Along with the last hospital visit, we are also beginning to reach other milestones worth marking. In particular, now that the chemo has been through his system his nausea has subsided. This means that Vampboy can start coming off of the anti-nausea medications that have been part of his daily life since July of 2006.

So, it's time to pay tribute.

Reglan. You are orange, sticky, and taste of butterscotch. Of course, VB would not know that, as we've bypassed the mouth and given you in other ways (through IV for awhile, and through his feeding tube the rest of the time). My wife was put on you once when she was pregnant and sick, but you caused her to erupt into a panic attack that lead me to remove her from the ceiling. Apparently it's best to take you with Benadryl so that doesn't happen. Vampmommy's docs didn't know that, but fortunately VB's did. Thank you for your service.

Benadryl. I used to run camps for middle school students, and used to be aghast at the number of parents who told the camp nurse to give their kids benadryl to help keep them calm and to sleep at night. Yet, you will be the trusted friend I will miss the most. You have kept Reglan in line, and even helped stave off the itchiness that comes with regular use of morphine. Thank you for keeping Vampboy from any number of psychotic episodes that could have materialized.

Zofran. You are clear, and I am unsure of your flavor. You are the gold standard of anti-emetics, and you certainly proved your worth in this case. While many have argued about your proper dosing, we were quite happy with smaller amounts every eight hours, rather than once a day. Perhaps only a psychological security, but we took it where we could get it.

Neupogen. You are also referred to as GCSF. For about two weeks after chemotherapy, VB gets a shot of you in the leg every day. His legs get bruised and hardened, and he doesn't like it in the slightest. But, you help raise his counts, and have been at the forefront of his growing obsession with band-aids as fashion necessities.

Bactrim. You are thick and pink. You come in a variety of flavors, although again it doesn't mean much to our little one. Pediatric cancer patients take you twice a day, three times a week. You are an anti-biotic and keep people with low immunity from getting sick. Our farewell will take a bit longer (about 6 months - until VB returns to full immune strength). But, before we go any further, I need to admit -- we have not always been faithful. Yes, when VB's counts were at their lowest, we'd skip using you for a few days. Turns out that your strength in protecting immune systems is balanced by the fact that you can sometimes slow the rise of ANC and platelet counts, which we really needed. Please forgive us.

Cephalexin. You look like Bactrim, which can prove confusing when it's late at night and you drop the syringes. However, if I keep everything straight you are extremely helpful in combating the infection that seems to stick to VB's MIC-KEY Button site every time his immune counts drop. In fact, that very infection is why we're in right now. I look forward to you completing your duties in the next week, and wiping that damn infection out for good.

Protonix. You are normally only available as a pill, so we need to go to a special pharmacist to have you compounded into a liquid. Terribly inconvenient, and also expensive, since the pharmacy doesn't interface with insurance providers and ours has proven difficult to get reimbursements from. However, you keep VB's tummy from freaking out over the presence of the MIC-KEY Button, so for that I am grateful.

Ativan. I have to admit -- I never really liked you. You are incredibly potent, which means I have to squint to draw up the tiniest droplet of you to give to VB. You are also highly, highly addictive. So, it will take weeks to finally get VB off of you. However, my dislike of you is balanced by the sweet relief you give him for nausea -- with the added benefit of a mood stabilizer. I fear we will have quite a 2 year-old on our hands when he has nothing but his own emotions and moods guiding him.

To all of you, my thanks. May I never require your services again.

7 comments:

MetroDad said...

Great news, VD! Continuing to keep my fingers crossed. As always, wishing the best to little VB!

Lainey-Paney said...

As I work in the medical field, I can truly appreciate your farewells to the drugs, and appreciation for their services.

:p

~LP

Francesca Giessmann said...

in two weeks I will bid my farewell to Bactrin and Acyclovilar and have a glass of wine as I swallow the last 2 pills. I hope VB has a cold frosty chocolate milk with his last dose. May the drugs, the stupid C and all hospitals stays stay a thing of the past for all of us!
cheers,
fg

Anonymous said...

This is just fantastic news. Way to go, Vamppeople!--Ali

Highhopes said...

I really wish I could be at the celebration on the 20th.. Unfortunately I will be in bean town studying away for midterms...However, I just wanted to say that congrats again and give vampboy a big hug for me!


I also wanted to say thanks for allowing me to read your amazing blog. I was so inspired I started my own. You can check it out at http://highhopes16.blogspot.com/

Denver Dad said...

That's really awesome! Congrats!

I finally got a chance to see the video with you and your son. My son is fixated. We've watched it at least five times already. He loves your boy's smile.

lkgoff said...

My son is 2 1/2 and battling rhabdomyosarcoma, we are 1/2 through our protocol. I look forward to saying goodbye to our drugs - mostly the same as yours! Your take on them cracked me up. :)Nothing but good wishes and energy to your little man.