Tonight, Scarlett has her third Ribovarin tent treatment. Since the shock of the first night, we have learned a lot about the treatment. It is a liquid that is aerialized into the tent for her to inhale. It works by altering the DNA of the virus so that it can no longer replicate, thus shortening the time it takes for her body to recover. It is a huge ordeal that is very rarely done anymore, but because there is a critical need to get her on chemo as soon as possible, the infectious disease specialists agreed that Scarlett was a candidate.
The danger is mainly to me and any other child-bearing-aged woman. The medication can cause problems for developing fetuses, and can those effects can last as long as 6 months. Now that I have repeatedly reassured them that I am not nor do I intend to be pregnant any time soon, I am cleared to be in the room again (last night, they had me go out while Chris stayed in for the treatment). It is a very in-depth process for her and for us: She is given a sedative to help her sleep through the 4-6 hours of treatment; we are in a negative pressure isolation room to prevent any leaks of medication into the hospital ventilation; after the treatment each night, we must clear the room of all linens (including me changing clothes), wipe down all surfaces and bathe Scarlett. Since we start treatment at about 9pm, the clean up happens around 2am. Not a restful situation in the least.
However, it seems to be working: She has not had a fever in more than 24 hours. Her chest sounds clear and she is much less congested. They are planning on moving forward with Day 1 of chemo tomorrow; it is the last day to have her entered in the study that we would like to participate in (31 days after her last surgery).
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. It marks one year since I took the tell-tale pregnancy test. Last year, our Valentine's Day was celebrated in shock, not quite sure how to handle the idea of a baby on the way. This year, it will mark the start of another life-changing phase of our family's life: chemotherapy.