We started our day early with a normal blood draw and a clinic appointment with his team of doctors. As soon as we talked with his doctor he let us know that they were looking to get us checked into a room as soon as possible to go ahead and get started on the chemo. This was actually a relief because we originally weren’t supposed to check in until later in the evening. I really didn’t feel like sitting around all day being nervous about what would happen so this was a good thing.
We were walked up to our room and shown around the inpatient floor. There is a kitchen for the family to use with a refrigerator, coffee maker, etc. There is a room with snacks and drinks for the patients (including Caleb’s favorite-popsicles!!!). And of course Caleb was most excited that there is a play room on our floor with tons of cool toys, books, puzzles, and games.
The first step to getting the chemo started is hydration. They give him fluid for 6 hours to make sure he is well hydrated. He will continue to receive this hydration throughout chemo and after chemo for a day or two to be sure all of the chemo flushes out and doesn’t sit in his bladder too long. They monitor all fluids in and out very closely. He has no restrictions on eating, so he can have whatever he feels like. Caleb spent the afternoon doing his usual snacking.
He started hydration at noon, so at 6 pm it was time to start the actual chemo. In between noon and 6pm he also received Benedryl, Zofran, and Ativan at different intervals. This will help combat the nausea. He fell asleep a little after 5pm, so when chemo started he was actually asleep. If you notice the green hue in all of the pictures it’s because this room has lights that you can make whatever color you want. You can change the brightness too. It’s pretty cool, and of course Caleb chose green lights!
After sleeping about 2 hours Caleb bounced right back. He woke up, ate a little dinner, and played some. He wanted Mac-N-Cheese and a chocolate milk shake. Whatever he feels like eating is fine with me!
After eating a little food we brushed his teeth, got him in his jammies and we watched Dr. Seuess’ “The Lorax” until he fell asleep.
I had so many thoughts while he was laying there. Like he shouldn’t have to be here and it’s not fair that he’s hooked up to all of these things. But also I’m so proud of him because he takes it all like a superhero. Really, when we started this whole journey we started saying that because Caleb liked superheroes, but he has really turned into one. He is so strong and brave.
On a more technical note, it has been interesting to watch the nurse’s processes and procedures for handling the Chemo. They always have two nurses verify the dosage and chemo type with the doctor’s order, and also verify Caleb’s medical record number to be sure they have the correct patient. When handling the chemo bag they are dressed in a protective gown and wearing gloves. They clean everything thoroughly and dispose of all the chemo bags, tubes, etc in a special biohazard trash can. It’s kind of what I expected but I guess it just makes it so real to watch it all happen in front of you.
As I finish writing this post, it is after midnight and Caleb has finished the large bag of Cisplatin that took 6 hours to drip. He is back on hydration fluids and sleeping soundly. We will see what the rest of the night and the morning bring but I pray he can keep sleeping soundly. It’s time for me to get some rest, so more updates tomorrow.