Clinic Update

Mollie's chemo went great today. The morning was hectic, but once we got to the clinic, things went smoothly. Mollie was ecstatic to see Miss Kym and talk about camp!! The theme this year is "Over the Rainbow." Mollie's counts were great (ANC 2900) and she was very relaxed for the procedures. Ms. Kat, the art lady, arrived just as we were getting ready to leave.... so we stayed for an art project (paper strip sculptures). On our way out, we walked around the reflecting pool so Mollie could admire the beautiful water lilies.

She was in a great mood all afternoon, ate a good dinner, and played with Lucy afterwards. We'll take it! Now they are "camping out" on the floor of their room, sleeping on handmade quilts from my great aunt Nancy.


Wrapping it up

Well, we are wrapping up a great visit from my parents and another month of chemo. Mollie starts a new round tomorrow, with IV vincristine and 5 days of steroids. She is looking vibrant and feeling good; I hate to see that all change with the first steroid pill she swallows.

Here's a look into how we handle the medicines:

Matt is wearing gloves while he preps Mollie's medicine; this photo shows all the pills she takes
in one week (not including zantac/prilosec and zofran for side effects).

Matt and I have worked out a system for keeping track of everything chemo-related. Every week we prepare Mollie's medications for the week ahead and keep them in a pillbox with AM & PM slots. All of these medicines are manufactured in dosages for adults, so we have to cut lots of pills in half. The dosages and medications are different for every day of the week, so preparing them ahead of time saves time and cuts down on errors. It also helps us plan ahead for when we need to get refills and new prescriptions.

When we give her the medications, we note the time and the dosage in a daytimer planner. We also use the planner to make special notes of any pains/side effects and clinic & hospital visits. This way, we have our own record of all of Mollie's medical care. Plus, whenever we travel or need to visit the clinic or ER, we can just grab the "chemo kit" and we have all the medicine, records, a Huber needle for port access, and a thermometer.

I don't know how other families handle this aspect of the treatment (and I'm interested if anyone wants to chime in!). It is a tremendous responsibility. I wonder how many kids actually get all the correct doses of medicine?? It would be so easy to forget, give the wrong medicine, or give the wrong dose. And what if you forget to fill the prescription and you're out of refills at 9 PM? We have had only one mistake that I can think of (although we have forgotten the evening meds and not remembered until the wee hours of the morning). Unless I am completely exhausted, I can't fall asleep without double checking that I gave Mollie her chemo that night.