Afternoon all. Allistaire is sleeping soundly in her room. She’s had quite an eventful day. We both slept well and didn’t actually get up until 8:30 am with only a few interruptions last night. Thanks for all that prayed for our rest last night! At 9:45 we went down to get prepped for Allistaire to go into surgery. They started with the nurse practitioner taking bilateral bone marrow biopsies – one on each side of her upper hips. These samples were then sent directly to the pathologist to determine if they had sufficient sample. Next the surgeons installed Allistaire’s Hickman Catheter. This is tubing that goes directly into one of the veins near Allistaire’s neck. They make a very small incision into her neck to insert the tube using ultrasound to help them know where they need to go. Once it’s in the vein, they then tunnel the tube down her chest through fat and it comes out on her upper chest. The length of the tubing helps reduce the risk of infection by creating distance from the actual vein allowing the body’s immune system to combat invaders long before they could reach the vein. Once the surgeons completed their portion (which they said went well), the nurse practitioner had to go back in and get more samples due to still having insufficient sample. All in all, the nurse practitioner took a total of 7 samples. This is due to a high amount of fibrosis in her bones due to the leukemia. This has made it challenging to get sufficient cell samples to use as a baseline. The last poke was a lumbar puncture that goes into her spinal column which will look to see if leukemia cells have migrated there which would then tell them if they have gone to her brain. Again this is to have a baseline prior to treatment. At some point during this first round of treatment she will also have chemotherapy inserted directly into her spinal column; she will be sedated again for this. Allistaire did great and as usual, brought delight to everyone who cared for her this morning. Isn’t it great that God thought it a good idea to make little people especially endearing?!
We thought we would start chemo today but it looks like we will probably start tomorrow morning. Sten and I have decided to go ahead and consent to having Allistaire participate in a study for those recently diagnosed with AML. The study is being conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group. Allistaire will be randomly selected to either receive the standard course of treatment or have the standard treatment plus an additional type of chemotherapy that has been shown to destroy other types of cancer cells. I am hoping to provide a clear layout of Allistaire’s treatment in the coming days.
There is so much to attend to upfront. We need all of these baseline tests to complete before Allistaire can begin treatment. Then there will be a lot to learn about the treatments she will have and our role in that. Then there is of course your abundant offers of help. I think my plan is to let you know each day how you can pray and if there are any specific ways you can help.
My first specific request is this – is anyone a WordPress Guru that could help a sister out? Listen, I’m not technologically advanced – I still have a dumb phone, have never uploaded a single thing in my life and I have no idea what a widget is. I really want to use this WordPress resource to communicate our world to you as effectively as possible without it consuming a ridiculous amount of my time trying to tinker around with things.
I leave you with a few pictures of Allistaire’s new digs: