We had a fun weekend of soccer and we were preparing this week to start Round 4 of chemo on Friday. But, at the pre-check-in appointment, it turned out that Travis’ counts were too low to start chemo so we have to delay everything by a week. It is kind of a bummer since once you get into that mindset, you just want to get it going and done. His hemoglobin and platelets are both ok but his white blood cell count and ANC (absolute neutrophil count or first responders) were too low so we need to wait until the ANC is back up above 1000. By pushing Round 4 out, it will have a chain reaction on Rounds 5 and 6 too so things will not be wrapping up until after Thanksgiving now. As much as we are looking forward to getting this whole process over, we realize we have to do what’s best for Travis right now. Looking ahead, at least he will be able to enjoy his fall break from school at the end of October and the last round will not start until after Thanksgiving so hopefully he will be stuffed with turkey and all the fixings while he is feeling good.
On the brighter side, the results of the quarterly MRI came back fine (Thank God!) and Dr. Crawford says that Travis is within the top 6% of his patients in terms of how well he is doing. Yeah! We continue to count our blessings since as bad as things are for us, they could have been a whole lot worse! He also confirmed that he is going to lower the strongest chemo (Cisplatin) dose down to 50% for Round 4 due to some high frequency hearing loss that the chemo can cause. This will be down from the 75% dose that he received during Round 3 and could be phased out completely so we are hoping each round continues to go well. In his exam, Travis is also starting to exhibit some temporary nerve interference from the Vincristine which causes kind of a numbness in his feet. So again, we will most likely be looking at a dose reduction of Vincristine in future rounds.
What we keep hearing through this whole process, whether it is surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, is that every patient is different and they start out with a cookbook type of treatment plan for his type of cancer which gets modified accordingly along the way depending on how the treatment is tolerated. In other words, with the toxic nature of the treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, they take you right up to the hairy edge of your tolerance before they back off. Whew! For those of us planners out there, it can make your head spin but we have learned that we have to take things as they come and face them head on. Travis is a Warrior and he will battle through!
Tony and Lynne