This has been a rough week for Rachana . Chemo, tired, aching, nausea, low counts and finally a blood transfusion to stabilize things.
On Monday she received chemo intravenously (IV) and also intrathecally (IT) i.e. in the spine. The IT procedure is never pleasant; they first inject a numbing medicine in the muscles around the spine, which stings and pains, and then inject a longer needle right into the spinal column. The doctors use a CT scan type equipment to help them guide the injection to the right place and then inject chemo into the spinal column. This requires a lot of skill as, because you know, it’s the freaking spinal column where all the nerves go through and a slight wrong move can cause havoc. After a few bad experiences we now ask for the physician rather than the resident to do this procedure. The hospital is part of UT (University of Texas) medical institution and so has doctors finishing up their residencies under the physician’s guidance. The procedure itself was done right with no complication but she had a more than usual backache & headache the first two days and was generally tired and uncomfortable the whole week. Wednesday was a little more unpleasant because of nausea and she threw up 3-4 times and dropped 2 pounds by Thursday.
The previous Sunday, Aug 14th, we went to a birthday party hosted by a neighbor and Rachana was in good spirits. We were comfortable going to be party, and generally being around people and kids as her counts from the Thursday before were very good. Her ANC (for infection control) was at 2800 which is quite normal. Anything under 1000 makes her susceptible to infections. On Monday the test showed her ANC at 600 and we both just looked at each other thinking, maybe we should have skipped the party! But even in hindsight, it’s good that she got a chance to meet everyone and spend some time having fun. It’s important that we maintain some balance i.e not take unnecessary risks (a vigil under 1000) and not live in bubble (it was 2600 when we decided to party).
Shubh will be back to school, going to 1st grade, this coming Monday and Rashi’s pre-K starts on Sept 6th. It’ll be nice to get them back on a schedule after a very unusual summer as we avoided enrolling them into any summer programs fearing them getting sick.