On January 27, we headed to St. Jude in Memphis, TN. We had a whirlwind week of appointments in preparation for starting the new trial at St. Jude.
Cam's hemoglobin continues to struggle to come back up to normal. Radiation and the adjuvant chemotherapy (oral etoposide) used during radiation really beat up her bone marrow, impairing its ability to generate new blood cells. We hope this side effect of the therapies used in December will subside soon; especially since the new chemotherapy is likely to have a similar effect.
Cam had her first infusion of 5FU last Thursday. It was rather uneventful, being only a 5 minute push of the drug. However, it requires timed blood draws for 2 1/2 hours after the initial push. They are checking on levels of the drug in Campbell's blood (this is a normal procedure). The only noticeable side effect has been fatigue. Our little friend naps daily, sometimes for 2 hours or more, sometimes a quick 20 minute cat-nap in the car is enought. About the car, we need to give a big shout-out to old family friends, the Forsees, for generously loaning us one of their cars during our stay in Memphis! This has been a huge blessing! Our previous 6-week stints away from home for treatment were all in Boston, with a great mass transit system, walking distance to Whole Foods and many delicious healthy restaurants. Unfortunately, the area around St. Jude is not the same as the area around Mass General. There is really nothing within walking distance. Thus, the car has become a must. If we were not so blessed, I certainly would have been renting one!
Cam and I went to the zoo yesterday. We had a blast. I'll see if I can get pictures from my phone onto here...
Assuming Cam's counts are okay tomorrow, she will have infustion 2/4 for this cycle. Fingers, toes, arms, legs are all crossed for good numbers!
This evening, I'd like to take a moment and ask you all to pray for a friend of ours, Aaron Bell. He is a fellow ependymoma patient who has been fighting the same beast as Cam for the past 4 years. Just yesterday, he and his family learned there is nothing more the doctors can do for him. The scary thing is, he had a good scan just 3 short months ago. Then in mid January he started to feel funny on the side of his face. Sure enough, an MRI showed his tumor was back. Since then, in only 3 weeks while on a new chemotherapy at St. Jude (not the same one as Cam, but one that shows promise), his tumor exploded. Aaron and his family need prayers and good thoughts.
Life is precious. It is a gift. Please remember to treat it that way. Be kind to everyone. You never know what they are going through. You never know when your life could change.