...That was from our friend Chris Schiller, in his response to the very first email we sent out announcing Dante's condition. This possibly being the last round, we're pulling out the big guns...
So, we are officially admitted for our fourth round of chemo, and according to the protocol, this is his last round. Afterwards they rescan and test and decide a course of action from there. There are a couple of scenarios depending on what they find: more chemo, surgery to check if scans aren't conclusive, or we are done! We are melting some serious ice cream and hoping for the last option.
When we were first given this protocol, Dr. Grana told us to expect that it will take much longer than the listed 10 weeks. "No one ever stays right on schedule, due to infections or low blood counts, etc." There's a first time for everything, I suppose, so why not Dante, right? So far, Dante has only had one brief fever and he is exactly on schedule. Today, when Dr. Grana came by she seemed very positive and said that she couldn't feel any tumors in his pelvis anymore. She was very pleased and a little surprised to hear he is right on schedule.
The realistic part of this, however, is that Dante started with a lot of disease and a very aggressive growth rate. This causes us to believe he will need at least another round, but we won't know for sure until the week of Thanksgiving (auspicious, no?) However, we're still visualizing fields of gooey, melted, Chunky Monkey and a mushroom cloud just north of Waterbury, Vermont. Feel free to join us in our exercise in the power of positive thinking - we'll take all the help we can get.
The hospital unit was so busy Wednesday, that Dante and Chris sat at the office on pre-hydrating fluids for most of the day waiting for a room to be ready. Dante was in a surprisingly good mood when I got to the hospital after work. After all that waiting for a room, they ended up moving us into a different room across the hall a couple of hours later. We are now sharing a room with an adorable little girl that is the same age as Carina. It just breaks my heart to see an infant that tiny in here.
In all of these visits, we keep him busy sometimes with games online and today, he started proficiently using the mouse and playing a concentration game, matching animals to their homes! I couldn't believe it! I suppose that's one good thing that has come out of this experience - we've been able to feed his inner geekness.
The biggest problem lately is trying to get him to stop wanting to play these learning games! :) No, seriously, it is a tough transition once we get home, because in here, we have to keep him occupied with activities that you can do while attached to an IV pole; puzzles, coloring, reading, baby einstein, and computer games are about the extent of it. Once we get home, he seems to want to stay in that mode for a while instead of playing other games or outdoor activities. And frankly, after playing letter factory or going to starfall.com for a week, I need a break! Not to mention looking at computers all day now that I am back at work, it's the last thing I want to do when I get home.
Well, that's all for now. Please take a moment out of each day, if you can, and think of our shining star and visualize bowls and bowls of melted, gooey, ice cream. So far, the cancer has been responding well to all
forms of treatment, and is melting away, so hang in a bit longer as we try to make it through the home stretch.
Chris & Jen