Pablo at Santa Monica Beach a few months ago.
Chemo treatment #2 is knocked ooooouuuuuuttttttaaaaa the paaaaaark!!!!! Only 16 more to go!
Today's Oncology Clinic visit.
It was cool to see Dr. Mascarenhas our oncologist. He is a sweet, gentle man, who has a way with children. It feels good to see the goodness in all the people who help us at the hospital. Feeling their care and expertise makes each minute in the hospital so much easier.
The doc checked Pablo over–vitals, nodes, tummy, etc. All good. He did a rough external measurement of the big tumor using a paper tape measure over the skin of Pablo's belly. Though it was an approximation only, he felt that the tumor was smaller. And it felt tougher to him–exactly what he was looking for on both counts. Jo Ann and I both felt that the bulge looked smaller as well, even though neither of us had said it to the other until Dr. M. measured it. We have both been trying to avoid hype talk, opting to stick with learning and becoming conversant in the facts of Pablo's disease. So far, it's feeling good.
Let's talk about chemo.
Chemo. Everybody knows the term. We talk about it, hear about it all the time when someone around us has cancer. It's this miracle drug that makes the patient feel yucky and rips through the body like a freight train. A necessary evil that can hurt as it helps. Until you find yourself in a situation where you're exposed to what chemo actually is, it's just this mythic thing. In our case, we didn't know if chemo meant he'd be hooked up to a machine, how long it would take or what it looked like. (When my bro was sick, I was not in Chicago on his chemo days.)
In the spirit of sharing our experience, strength and hope–and the sights and sounds of our this whole game–we thought it'd be helpful to show you exactly what Pablo's chemo looks like.
The picture above is a vial of the famous treatment. The one on the left is Vincristine, the actual chemo drug. That little tube took about 5 seconds to upload into Pablo's chest port. Not bad! It didn't register a reaction from him at all. He said he couldn't feel a thing. The tube on the right is Heparin, an anti-clotting medication, which is given after any use of the port to avoid gunking up the line.
We are eating lunch, talking about the idea of Pablo going to school today. If he goes, it'll be a 30 minute hang, not a full day. Carole, the music 'n' songstress of Walther, is at school today. Music and friends–and a shot of normalcy in this unusual time–will be very, very good for Pablo!
We'll keep you up to date on this. See you later!