What? Did I actually PLAN???

After all the posts I’ve made this past year about how planning never works out, I actually planned.  The plan was to have chemo from today until Friday, 12 March.  On that day we would rejoice, the hospital people would wave us off with teary eyes and that would be the end of treatment. *cue trumpet solo*

Ja.  Well.  Right. 

Turns out we won’t finish just yet.

Today’s full blood count isn’t looking too rosy.  White count 1.1;  neutrofils 0.54;  Hb 8.9;  platelets 230.  The platelets are holding well but the Hb dropped from10.5 and the white count from 3.5 in the past week.  Giving chemo now will definitely lead to further drops.  So Boeta is getting the week off to recover. 

Another fly in the ointment is that Justin, one of the chemo-kids who was at the Shavathon on Saturday, broke out in measles on Sunday.  Now isn’t that just wonderful.  Woutertjie is getting Intragam* as soon as the hospital’s pharmacy gets it.  It is an intramuscular injection like the GCSF booster injections he received to kick-start his bone marrow when his blood counts hit rock bottom.  So much for thinking that he wouldn’t have another run-in with needles before we finish.  The Intragam will keep him safe from measles.  He is up to date with his childhood vaccinations so he should have some immunity to measles, but since his white count is that low there won’t be enough cells to fight the infection even if his body recognises the virus.

Carien had only one of her measles vaccinations because we had to stop her vaccination schedule when Woutertjie was diagnosed.  Since vaccination could result in having a minor case of disease and Boeta being neutropenic most of the time it wouldn’t have been wise to take the risk.  Now we have to hope that she has enough immunity to deal with it.  Since she isn’t a high risk patient (like Woutertjie) she will have to deal with the measles if she gets it.  The Intragam will protect Boeta for a couple of weeks so even if Carien gets full blown measles Boeta will be fine.

Imagine if they went ahead with chemo today and Boeta’s white count dropped even lower and he started with measles too…..  I am very happy with Gerrit’s decision to wait.  Cristina is in Ghana at the moment and I am very very very grateful that I got her permission before we went to the Shavathon on Saturday.  Can you just imagine the scene if we sneaked off and then all of this happened?  I’d rather not imagine it.

Sharon told me now that the Intragam arrived.  We’ve been waiting from 13:00 until 17:00 for it to be delivered.  With the current measles outbreak in Cape Town the hospital used all their stock but we are now ready to go.  Sharon also told me now that the total volume is 3.5ml.  That is a huge volume to inject under a child’s skin.  Under an adult’s skin too for that matter but at least most adults keep still.  I’ve been psyching Boeta up for the exciting injection that lies ahead (I am such a cold blooded liar) and now he will have two injections of 1.75ml each.  One on each thigh.  He isn’t terribly excited about one and two will really make him angry.

This day is aiming to make sure that I don’t forget what it is like to be an oncomom.


*Intragam is concentrated antibodies.  IgG (with traces of IgM and IgA) gets purified from huge batches of donor blood.  It provides immediate protection against a range of infective agents.


6 Responses

  1. Never a dull moment! Just to keep you on your feet and knees!

  2. Bianca used to always get her intagram as an IV infusion, why do they do yours as an injection?

  3. After everything you have been through and handled with aplomb this is a minor inconvenience.

  4. En daar kry jy nog ‘n paar weke om te dink oor die toekoms. Of jy dit nou wou gehad het of nie. 😉

  5. Ek het voor laas jaar Intragam gekry toe ek aanmekaar siek was – moeg van min slaap- en ‘n 2ling borsvoed. Dit was vrek seer – ek dink aan Woutertjie. Ten minste het dit uitstekend gewerk.

  6. Ai tog!! Kan jy nou glo dat die wenstreep is alweer net om die draai. Hou moed girl. Dit is defnitief een van die dae verby!!!!! Ek dink aan jou en stuur baaaaiiiiieeee positiewe energie na jou kant toe…

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