Jul 31 2009

If anyone had asked me what I thought a Chemotherapy patient would look like a week after commencing treatment I would have drawn a blank. Only now can I understand what it can do to someone, especially a two year old. Ever since the weekend, she has been lethargic , quiet and just very low; the sickness a few nights ago was a tangible indication of what she is going through with this but I'm sure her lack of vocabulary is hiding multiple of feelings that we can only guess.

Yesterday, we had to pay a visit to the hospital to get Camille's blood counts taken to see how she was fairing. It is expected that seven days from the chemotherapy treatment, the body's immune system goes into free fall and that Camille is susceptible to all sorts of infection.

We took her in at 15.30pm, hoping that we could get the results that evening. Our favourite doctor, Arun , was again the man tasked with getting bloods from Camille in the least traumatic fashion. He is very good, but the poor little thing is now beyond scared every time she sees him or one of the nurses. We were waiting in a side room when Arun came him to wash his hands, with Balamory on the TV Camille was desperate to watch the adventures of PC Plum, but couldn't help keeping one eye on Arun the whole time. This time he found a vein pretty quickly and managed to get the bloods certainly a lot quicker than on previous occasions. Camille did not appreciate his stealth, and was once again very upset with the procedure.

We got the results of the blood counts at 18.00pm; her red blood count holding up, platelets normal but the neutrophils were showing that she is neutropenic and is far more likely to pick up an infection than ever before; even her "friendly" bacteria could begin to turn on her. I'm not sure whether this drop has got anything to do with her lethargy or nausea but it is clear that she has been knocked for six this week.

Today's post arrived surprisingly early for our road, and snuggled between an electricity bill and a hospital appointment letter were two cards. The first one I read had been sent by a business associate; the second from a couple who I haven't seen in some considerable time but had heard on the grapevine. It really does amaze me how much support we have got from people we hardly see or in some cases hardly even know. Hayley too had a visitor today, who came to visit Hayley and the family, but also delivered a whole array of books, DVDs, toys etc that had been collected from a popular woman's web community. We are truly appreciative of what everyone is doing for us.

On a less positive note, we have heard from Addenbrookes today to notify us that Camille's next chemotherapy dose that was due for next Wednesday is now being delayed until the day that the Hickman Line goes back in. This again seems a bit of a blow, even though he delay is a matter of four days. The reason for the postponement is because of the length of dose and the number of cannulas that it would probably need and also the next drug is pretty nasty when in contact with the skin; a cannula is more likely to leak.

Therefore, we are now due to go back in on the 11th for a morning operation to insert the new Hickman Line and closely followed by the commencement of chemotherapy that afternoon. It seems like a long wait, but with numerous hospital appointments next week, regular visitors and a little someone's birthday (Hayley's) then I'm sure we'll be at the 11th in no time.