A little blog remodel today. I am itching to change things around our house, but don't have the money, time or extra sets of hands necessary, so I redecorated the blog instead.
Yesterday's blood transfusion was easy for Scarlett, despite the seemingly inevitable "unknowns" that we come up against with every procedure. This time, it was allergic reactions. The last time she had blood products, she had two hives pop up. Subsequently, her chart was marked as "allergic to blood", which means they still give her blood as needed, but give her a Tylenol/Benadryl cocktail to quell any reaction (the idea that she is allergic to blood is confusing, but seems to be no big deal for the doctors or nurses). The circumstances were such that we don't think the hives and blood were actually related, but it could not be changed until after this transfusion.
So, after starting an hour late and waiting the 5 hours for the red cells and then platelets to go in, we were packing to go home. As the nurse came to de-access the port, she noticed a red blotch. This instigated a hour of waiting to see if any more redness appeared, or if any breathing problems cropped up. Nothing came of it, so she was cleared to go, though I don't think they will clear her chart yet. We finally got to leave around 8:15pm, 7 hours after we arrived. She is pinked up and seems to be handling it well; we go back tomorrow for more labs to see if the transfusion has resolved the low numbers. We're crossing our fingers that, in addition to the red cells and platelets being replaced, her white blood cell count will have increased (on its own - these cells cannot be transfused) and we can stop the daily shots for a few weeks.
Slightly nerve racking is the appointment I scheduled today: her first full-detail MRI since surgery (the MRIs she has had over he last two months have been to check the fluid in her brain ventricles, but are low-resolution and don't show tumor). This is the only way we can track regrowth, so every two months we will hold our breath and hope the chemo is doing its job. The tumor is most likely to regrow in the first 6 months after surgery, but could at any time for 5+ years; even if she is clear now, she will continue to have MRIs for many years.
A few delayed THANK YOUs to Sandy Tebow, Joanne and Ron Manhire, and Nancy Kratochvil for the delicious dinners! We are enjoying everyone's creativity with Chris' vegetarian diet!