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Scan Results and Chemo Treatment #4

These five-day chemo treatments are tough, he gets three powerful chemo agents, anti-nausea drugs, protective agents and fluids over the six days he is hospitalized.

These five day chemo treatments are rough. It means a six day admission into the hospital for Little Buddha, and us. He gets three powerful chemo agents, anti-nausea drugs, protective agents and fluids over the six days. This time around was very hard on him and he refused to sleep unless my husband or I was holding him. I had to take a few days to recover with our little man.

We went into the hospital for the MRI and blood work. Since his numbers were finally high enough, we were admitted for chemo. We got the MRI results very quickly and, thank God, his remaining mass has shrunk by over half! The tumor (at least right now) is not chemo resistant. I cannot express how happy we are. At the very least we know that his long recovery time does not mean the tumor is gaining ground.

The Treatment

Little Buddha gets admitted on day 1, starts fluids and waits until he is cleared to start his first chemo drug, carboplatin. First he gets anti-nausea drugs and a drug called Mesna that helps to protect his bladder against the chemo. When he clears and gets the Carboplatin it takes about an hour to finish. Platins are nasty, nasty drugs, they have a host of side effects like neuropathy and hearing loss, but they are more likely to be effective against aggressive cancers. Next comes the Ifosfomide, which is the only agent that, according to the literature, statistically raises his odds of survival against a rhabdoid tumor. Although, to be honest it is probably the total combination of the three meds, commonly referred to as ICE. Last is the Etoposide, which also runs for about an hour.

Days 2-5 are just the support medications, fluids, Ifosfomide and Etoposide. The last day is just the fluids and anti-nausea drugs. Every four hours, through the entire stay, his urine is tested for blood and every day he has blood drawn to check his electrolyte levels as well as kidney function.

He is generally pretty active throughout his stay, and one of the anti-nausea drugs is also a steroid, so his appetite has been really good.  The doctors say that the little ones do better than the older kids and teenagers, and from what I've seen it's true. This time was a little rougher on him, each time seems to get a little harder. He was tired more and a little more fussy, but you still wouldn't think that he was actually getting pumped full of poison.

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