Week Fifteen

The cumulative effects of chemotherapy are catching up with Robbie. The eyebrows and eyelashes are going and he’s been tired. Even a walk around the block with Dixie can tucker him out. As the doctors keep telling him at clinic, this is all typical. Even the infection two weeks back, serious as it was, was not a surprise.

He had a quiet, relaxed weekend, largely enjoying the sunshine, reading his Manga and having Dixie hang out with him. Tuesday we were scheduled to readmit him for round four but when we arrived, Dr. Massaro suggested that since he was still on the antibiotic, he would do better finishing that medicine before beginning chemo. Still, he had the lumbar puncture and bone marrow biopsy in anticipation of the admission, which would now happen on Friday.

We were cleared to let him eat in a restaurant so he picked Chili’s and we treated him to a lunch out. The rest of the week was low key although he experienced increasing back pain from the lumbar procedure. He also had a serious headache that wouldn’t quit on Thursday so he checked with the doctors. Apparently, spinal headaches are a common occurrence and the pressure eased as he lay flat.

Friday we arrived to a very crowded clinic. In fact, things were so busy they drew his blood and sent him back to the waiting area rather than await the results in the infusion room. His back, though, was troubling him so when I went to see what could be done, Dr. Beardsley said there was no use keeping him in clinic since he was going upstairs anyway. A quick call later, we were back up in 7-West. Before he even got his room assignment, the nurses were busting his chops for not arriving on Tuesday as planned. He grinned all the way to his room.

His familiarity with the staff – residents, nurses, child life – and the procedures gives him tremendous confidence. Robbie can speak up for himself when it comes to medications and anticipate what will be asked of him. The staff likes him and most now stop in just to say and chat him up which is great. At one point yesterday, he wound up with two of his oncologists and both nurse-practitioners in the room and it was mainly a social call which made him feel good.

Round four began yesterday and lasts until Thursday morning. Given the medications involved, it has to be carefully timed out and Tricia, his nurse, and Deb worked out the mental math to give Robbie some options for starting the treatment.

Unlike round three, where no one visited, last night he already had company with more coming today and tomorrow which most certainly helps him kill time.

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