Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One down, 27 to go!

Summer's first radiation treatment was this morning. We were thankful for the short commute (a walk across the street) because the snow was coming down in silver-dollar-sized chunks when it was time for us to head over to the hospital. Amazingly, we made it over there without falling down - it was so slippery!

On the first treatment day of each week, Summer has to have her port accessed. This means that I apply numbing cream about an hour before our appointment, and then they poke a needle into the port in her chest. Attached to the needle is some plastic tubing that connects to the IV and can be used for blood draws. This needle and tubing is left in place (not hooked to anything, except during treatment) for the whole week so she doesn't have to get poked daily, just once a week.

Today was our first experience with that process and it was very upsetting for Summer. I don't think it hurt her at all, thanks to the numbing cream, but she was not happy about being messed with and got quite worked up about it. Once they had her all hooked up and everything taped in place, she settled down and fell asleep in my lap.

We waited 10 minutes or so until it was our turn, and then I carried her, still asleep, down to the radiation room where they administered the anesthesia medication (propofol) and put her under. Then I moved her to the table, gave her a kiss and headed out for a snack.

About 30 minutes later, they called me back to the prep and recovery room to sit with her until she woke up, another 15 minutes or so later. She woke up cranky, which is pretty typical of her when coming out of anesthesia, but was back to normal within 30 minutes or so.

So far, I haven't seen any side effects from the treatment. Her appetite has been good - especially since rice crispy treats were waiting for her when she woke up - and her activity level has been normal.

Her endocrinology appointment was rescheduled because the snow prevented that doctor from making it in to work, so we're done for the day.

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