In & Out of Clinic

Thursday night, Mollie was craving "steroid food" and wanted to go to Subway for a turkey and cheese sandwich. So, off we went, and the food seemed to hit the spot. But, a few hours after we got home, Mollie started complaining of acid reflux (or so I thought). I gave her some Zantac and put her to bed.

She came downstairs around midnight, not feeling well. I tried to soothe her and get her to go back to sleep, but she just couldn't get comfortable. Then around 1 am, she started throwing up. Afterwards, she said she felt much better. We cleaned her up and got her back to sleep. When she woke up in the morning, she had cramping and diarrhea (but no fever). She also said it felt like her heart was racing.

I thought it was probably food poisoning (Lucy and I didn't have turkey sandwiches, and we were fine), so to be safe we headed to clinic. All of her vitals (temp, HR, BP, etc) looked completely normal and since she had a good ANC just two days prior, they didn't need to draw blood. Dr. McD advised us to just keep track of her temperature and make sure she was drinking lots of fluid.

We spent most of the day resting (perfect weather for it: rain) and she woke up this morning feeling much better! Lucy was adorable and helped me take care of Mollie; she gave her lots of kisses and hugs and offered her snacks and Gatorade.

Tomorrow is the last day of steroids for this round, and I have to say she is handling them very well. I think preparation is key (pretty much true for everything). We have lots of steroid food (chips, applesauce, cheese, Hawaiian rolls, etc). and some new videos on hand for rest periods.


Integrative Therapy

Since early on in Mollie's treatment, I have wondered about complementary therapy- ways to improve Mollie's nutrition and overall health in order to increase the effectiveness and lessen the side effects of the chemo. The only information that I have been able to glean for certain, is that we should avoid giving her any type of folate supplement. This is because methotrexate is a folate antagonist that inhibits folate-dependent enzymes essential for cell division and growth.

I happened across an interesting program at the Columbia University Medical Center: The Integrative Therapies Program for Children with Cancer. This website is full of interesting information about the potential use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in children with cancer. It includes recommendations, manuscripts, and links to other research articles. I wish I had found this resource a long time ago! I will definitely spend some time navigating through the site for information relevant to Mollie's care.


Clinic Update

All went well for today's chemo and lumbar puncture. Mollie's ANC is holding strong at 2000! So... she doesn't have to go back to clinic for a month (except to get a flu shot in two weeks), as long as she stays healthy.

Everything went very smoothly, except that nurse Kate had a hard time getting a blood flash from Mollie's port, so we practically had to fold her into a pretzel to get the blood flowing. She barely complained about the fasting before her procedure and she was so tired that she barely needed versed for sedation in pre-op. We got in and out very quickly for a propofol day and even made it to the lunch buffet at the Pizza Joint.

The offerings in the Dino-store (the toy cabinet in pre-op) were pretty slim... mostly Bible coloring books and bookmarks, but Mollie spotted a My Little Pony figurine and carried it into the OR with her.

Glad the clinic part is over; Mollie will rest and recover the rest of the day and she'll begin taking steroids.


So happy to see you!

Apologies for the lack of posts- I have been out of town for the wedding of one of my oldest friends (we met in 1979, I think. wow!) Congratulations Sara and Freddy!

Mollie stayed home with Matt so she wouldn't miss out on school. There were quite a few phone calls to me about her not feeling well. However, we are certain she just knows how to pull our strings. If she says she hurts or feels sick, she knows we have to act. She missed me and really wanted me to come home. Once otherwise occupied, all of the hurting and pain went away, she and Matt had some fun outings!

When she saw me tonight after I got off the plane, she said, "Oh mama! I'm so happy to see you!" Just like a little adult!

She is tucked in bed now, happy with all the treats I brought back (thanks Katherine, Cindy, Momo, and Sally). This week brings a spinal tap on Weds. Mollie says she's looking forward to it because she gets to pick out a toy from the dino-store. This is a little "store" that the Child Life group has in the OR. Every child that has surgery gets to choose something each time they have a procedure. They even have a "sibling" box. Thank goodness for this because how else do you get a kid to look forward to a spinal tap???

It is good to be home, although I'm exhausted from an early morning flight. More tomorrow.