Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Interferon treatment

Yesterday was the first of 12 Interferon treatments. Summer wasn't happy about it (who would be, really?!), but overall it was pretty uneventful.

They shaved a little spot on her head over the reservoir, rubbed the area with iodine swabs to sterilize it.

Dr. Ojemann, the chief Neurosurgeon, inserted a needle into the reservoir. It had a flexible tube leading to the syringe so Summer didn't have to hold completely still the whole time, which was great. She did have to sit still in my lap, but I didn't have to hold her head firmly or anything like that. He withdrew all the fluid he could get out of the cyst - about 10mL. Then they unscrewed the fluid filled syringe from the end of the tubing and swapped it with the Interferon syringe so Dr. Geyer could push the medicine back in.

The entire process, from inserting the needle to pulling it back out, took about three or four minutes. Summer cried for the first couple of minutes, but had stopped before the end of it. I think she was mostly upset that they were messing with her and making her sit still, not so much because she was in pain. It was pretty amazing to see how much fluid they were able to draw out of there.

After the procedure, she was in a pretty good mood. I'm sure it was a relief to have the pressure in her head reduced. By about 8:00pm, she was starting to get a bit of a fever, but still seemed to be feeling okay. We gave her a little Ibuprofen to help control the fever and put her down for bed on her usual schedule. She slept through the night just fine.

I went to work today, but Jason said Summer wasn't feeling so well when she woke up this morning. She still had a fever and cried for about 40 minutes until the Ibuprofen he gave her kicked in. After that she seemed to feel much better, but took an early nap.

This afternoon, she wasn't feeling well again - just really cranky and clingy, without much appetite. She is napping again now. We were hoping for no reaction to the drugs, but these symptoms are all normal. She probably feels like she has the flu right now.

I'm hopeful that she'll feel better again tonight and tomorrow morning so she can have a little break before her next treatment at 3:00 tomorrow. I'm very excited for a photo shoot with Keri Meyers Photography in the morning - hopefully Summer will be up for it!


  1. I am glad to hear it went ok. Sorry she feels icky, but maybe that means it is doing something. Love to you all,
    The Foleys of Poulsbo

  2. Our family will be joining the fund raising walk as well. I have been browsing some of those amazing stories and that's how I found Summer's story. It's very familiar to ours. (Diagnosis April 2009 at 17 months of age.) Summer will be in my thoughts and I hope she will go through the treatments just fine and it will all work out. Looking forward to see your little hero at the walk as well.

    - Team Niels