Week seven ended on a high note. It might have been a C.
Robbie is coming home today, having completed round two of chemotherapy in grand style. Unlike round one, he suffered no side effects at all; required no blood or platelets and maintained eating real food all week.
The best news came a few days ago when Dr. Massaro told us that his second bone marrow biopsy shows a dramatically reduced amount of “blasts”, the immature white blood cells that indicate leukemia in the system. He measured 8.9% blasts after round one was over and then, days later, measured 1.5% which was a terrific number. Better yet, it could be he may already be in remission – we’ll know in a week or so. He still needs to complete all five rounds of treatment, however, but the low rates found in his system tell the doctors he most likely will not require a bone marrow transplant.
He’ll be home starting this afternoon and unless a side effect occurs, will stay in Fairfield until the day after Easter when he’ll be readmitted for round three. In between, he has to come back for weekly blood work and the doctors fully expect him to develop a fever or two given the weakened system. If so, he’ll be readmitted immediately until his blood counts improve. Robbie, of course, is determined to avoid fever.
The doctors and the nursing staff have all been impressed with how much stronger he looks this time around and the encouraging tones have helped his frame of mind. He even did some work with the Child Life people, bringing in Disney Scene It and Guitar Hero, staging tournaments with the other patients. The Disney game got a fabulous turnout which had a lot of kids in attendance. Guitar Hero brought out the would-be rock stars among some of the older patients and the nurses. In fact, Thursday night, Robbie wound up spending most of the night out in the common area with the nurses and another patient, playing Guitar Hero until something like 11.
Deb has planned to return to full time status come Monday, which helps her frame of mind. While I’ve been surprisingly productive from the hospital, there’s more that could and should be done so having more time at home will help. We’ll also get to do our own cooking once more, a change of pace after the last two months, and fall back into the routines that make us feel “normal” and once more in charge of our lives. He’ll still rest a lot, take plenty of medications and still use a TPN nutritional IV at night, but he will no longer be entirely restricted to the house, which delights him.