June 19, 2013
It was so nice to have Madeleine at home over the weekend. She was feeling good, better than she's felt in the past 5 weeks. She was able to play games, interact with her sisters, joke around, visit with friends, and even meet and visit with our new neighbors. Her new accessories (broviac line and G-tube) require care and maintenance but I think we've got the hang of it.
Madeleine and I came back to the hospital yesterday for admission for chemo cycle #2. This cycle uses two of the same drugs from the previous cycle and one new one. Vincristine/cyclophosphamide/topotecan. It will take four days, with perhaps a day or two of hydration and then we can hope to be home again.
I spoke with her doctor yesterday and she is thrilled with the results from the first cycle. In two measurements of different parts of the tumor it reduced by 47% (thoracic prevertebral mass), and 62% (retroperitoneal component)! The craniocaudal (that means head to foot, and that is your medical word of the day) measurement has decreased from 16.3 cm to 11.9 cm and from 12.4 cm to 7.3 cm.
Mad had a good visit with a couple of friends yesterday. Chemo started last night and she is really feeling the effects of it today. I'm glad she was able to have such a good time yesterday and that there are no visitors scheduled for today.
Insurance has approved our trip to Denver for the stem cell harvest. It looks as though that may happen over two dates: one for a consultation and one for the actual procedure, which can take 1-3 days. Pretty silly that we will have to fly up there for a consultation, but whatever. The tentative dates are July 3rd and then the harvest on July 8th. If the July 3rd date sticks I'm hoping to be able to stay for some fireworks, I know Mad would love that. We don't have fireworks on the 4th here because of all of the fires and fire restrictions. The social worker was talking about possibly sending all five of us to Denver on the 3rd and making a weekend trip out of it. She is seeing what insurance will pay for as far as flights and lodging. It would be nice to have everyone all together, and it will be great to be able to see friends in that area (Campbell and Gattiker families I'm talking about you!). I guess we'll see what insurance will pay for, and what we decide to do.