We had our first appointment at the oncologist's office. Joey has gained 4 pounds in the last week! This is normal while he's on the steroids. I've heard from other mom's that their kids gained a ton of weight in the first month because of them. I've started taking pictures of him to see how much his face changes. His cheeks are already a little bigger. He can't seem to get enough french fries and chicken nuggets. I asked the doctor if I should tell him no when he asks for them, but he said to go ahead and let him have it.
I got some good information from the doctor:
- There is only a 50-60% chance he'll lose his hair.
- Less than 7,000 kids in the US get some type of cancer each year, so childhood cancers are actually very rare.
- Wichita has the only child cancer center in Kansas, so we are very lucky to be here. The other options for rural Kansas patients are Denver or Kansas City.
- During the first month, he classifies kids as Standard or High risk - Joey is currently Standard risk due to his age, the lack of cancer cells in his spinal fluid, and white blood count.
- After all bone marrow results are in, he classifies them as Low, Standard, or High. The end result will be the same, but the level of treatment will be more intense as the risk increases. We should have these results in 2-3 weeks.
- This Thursday we have a spinal tap (Joey will be awake this time), chemo injected into his spine, and chemo through his central line.
- We'll be back in for chemo the next 2 Thursdays.
- The week after that, they'll do another bone marrow aspiration to determine if Joey is in remission - most kids are in remission at this point.
- After this, we should have the final results from the first aspiration, know which risk category he is in and learn the treatment plan going forward.
His blood counts were good today, which means that they were very stable from last Friday and not going down.
He spent this afternoon at his daycare. He had no problems going in and staying, although they said that he got extremely tired after I left. I was a little surprised because he didn't get out of bed until almost 10:00 this morning and I dropped him off around noon, so he was only awake about 2 hours. I'm planning to go to work all day tomorrow, so he'll be at daycare all day. He says he's ready for it. I don't think I'm ready yet for him to go to church tomorrow night. Nothing against my wonderful church, but I've taught the preschool age a lot the last 5 or so years and I think I always had at least one sick child there.
I've had several people comment that my daycare must be a great place - it really is. They are being so good to us there, and I know they love my kids. Here is their website if anyone wants to check them out. http://www.treehouselearningonline.net/
Here is Joey tonight. He looks much better than he did - even the red circles around his eyes seemed to disappear today. He has always had full checks, but they are a little more full than usual. Also - you can see his stitch and large bruise from his central line. He loves showing off that stitch, but it's almost gone now.