Thursday, January 6, 2011


It's easy to name blog posts when there's always a new cancer term that starts affecting our lives.

During Julia's chemo appointment on Monday, she got a new piece of hardware installed. Because her white blood cell counts are expected to be bottoming out from her hospital-stay chemo, we need to give her a daily injection of a drug to help stimulate her bone marrow to crank out some more of the good fellas. To make the process easier, they installed a subcutaneous catheter in the back of Julia's arm. The tube is placed in her fatty tissue and not in a vein. So the big idea was that the injection goes into the tube and we would be giving Julia's skin a break from being punctured. Well that part worked, but we didn't realize it would cause a sudden burning sensation for a few seconds after going in. So the first few times she got it, it wasn't pleasant, but somehow, tonight she just gritted her teeth and didn't make a peep.

What we're injecting at home is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). She gets her blood counts measured at her weekly chemo appointments and one other time during the week. If they're too low, she may need to get a blood transfusion. Hopefully the G-CSF will do its trick.

A couple of things I forgot to mention from Julia's week-long hospital stay:
My mom's friend gave Julia a huge bag of little presents. The instruction was that she could open one for every chemo appointment. She hugely looked forward to it each day in the hospital and it really brightened her day. It was an excellent idea for anyone else ever looking for something interesting to do for someone who has a lot of unfun medical needs. Julia will sometimes ask when her next chemo appointment is, just because she is excited about getting to open the next gift.

Julia met another young lady while in the hospital. Her and Carina would hang out in the play room and draw pictures. We ran into them at the clinic getting chemo on Monday too. Carina has a contagious smile and bright eyes. It makes me happy that Julia came across someone in a similar situation as hers who gives off such positive vibes. With permission, here's a picture of the girls, their moms, and their decorated IV carts.

And a few other random family pics from the last few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to keep everyone informed. It means a lot. I'm sure people appreciate it. I know we do! Thanks much. Love to all. Mom (Grandma Colleen)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh thank you so much! That was soo nice of you to say that about me! :) I have to do G-CSF too. Its not much fun. I have a hickman port (so its on the outside of my skin, no pokes! Yayy!!) But i have to stay on the couch for 40 mins......BORING!! Im glad your all doing good.

your friend,

Anonymous said...

Congrats on keeping your blog up-to-date. It is giving us information that many may never hear. Julia, you are meeting and making some very special friends. Mandy, doesn't look like Finn let you get much rest. Great shot Torey. Love, Grandma Beth