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Intense Chemotherapy: Surviving in spite of the chemo.

Hunter's First Hunt

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Chemotherapy
 
This is the next physical weapon that we will use in the hunt. This page will take you through the course of treatment. But first as a good hunter, we must pack our sack and prepare...making sure that we have all the warfare chemicals lined out for the hunt.
 
The following is a list of the chemo drugs used to fight the cancer:


Induction drugs (getting into the fight):  

Cisplatin (CDDP, CP) by IV over 6 hours
Vincristine (VCR, V) by IV bolus
Cyclophosphamide (CPM, C) by IV over 1 hour
Mesna (MS) by IV over 1 hour
Etoposide (VP-16, VP) by IV over 1 hour
GCSF (G) SQ daily (a daily shot -done by parents)

After this was done for the first time... There was a collection of stem cells. The cells where collected (harvested) at this point, but will not be used until we proceed to Intense Chemotherapy. During that phase the stem cells will be transplanted back into Hunter's blood stream. The reason for this is to promote healthy blood cell production and quicker healing from the chemotherapy. * Please see the bottom of the page for Stem Cell Transplant pictures and more info. 
 
The Induction Chemotherapy drugs were given three times over three months. Hospital stays were 3-4 days long as the chemo was given daily through IV.


Intense Chemo (front line, hand in hand combat):

Carboplatin (CBDCA, CB) by IV over 2 hours
Theiotepa (THIO, TH) IV over 2 hours
GCSF (G) SQ daily

This chemo was given three more times over the following three months. Hospital stays were 2-3 days long as the chemo was given daily through IV. 48 hours after each dosing period was complete, stem cells were given back to Hunter to aide in his recovery from the fight.

See below for descriptions of the drugs which include: What it is, What it looks like, How it's given, Common side effects (which Hunter got them all), Less common side effects (which Hunter got some), and Special instructions.

First round chemo
firstroundchemo.jpg
Hunter reads a book and gets comfy with the hospital bed.

Intense chemo starts with the 4th round of chemo
fourthroundchemo.jpg
Hunter has just undergone G-tube surgery and now 3 days later intense chemo starts.

Second round chemo
secondroundchemo.jpg
It's been a long day in the clinic. The chemicals run at night while he is sleeping.

Fifth round chemo
fifthroundchemo.jpg
Where has my boy gone...he's been replaced with such a sick little creature. Some tough times.

Third round chemo
thirdroundchemo.jpg
Hunter is an old pro at this now. He's learned a few tricks like riding on the IV pole.

Sixth round chemo
sixthroundchemo.jpg
Hunter is a mere skeleton but, he's still kicking and fighting the good fight.

In the Arms of the Angels

Stem Cell Harvesting
stemcelltransplant.jpg
The machine pulls the blood, spins out the stem cells, and returns warmed blood to Hunter.

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it OK
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction or a beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stem Cell Rebound (hours after harvesting)
stemcellrebound.jpg
I bring him to the hospital play ground & he is in heaven. Still tired & weak, but playing joyfully

In the arms of the Angels far away from here
From this dark, cold [hospital] room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the Angels; may you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

Hospital return.
bighugs.jpg
A return to the hospital between treatments due to fever.


In the arms of the Angels far away from here
From this dark, cold [hospital] room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of the Angels; may you find some comfort here


You're in the arms of the Angels; may you find some comfort here