After three weeks of patiently waiting for Scarlett's counts to rebound, she is officially ready to begin round 7 of chemo. This is our first of 6 rounds (each a month long) to be given orally (or by NG for now) at home. She gets cyclophosphomide for 21 days, and topotecan for 10 of those days, then 7 days off to rest before the next cycle. While we don't anticipate her counts to drop too low or really bad nausea, it is still unknown how her tired little body will react. Luckily, she is feeling really good, so it may be easier than if she had just completed the last round.
We were very, VERY lucky that she was ready today. Since we picked up the chemo a few weeks ago, thinking she was going to be ready sooner, it came with an expiration date. I checked this morning to see how close we were to losing the very expensive doses of topotecan that the hospital sponsored...today was the day. If we wanted to use all 10 doses before the September 16 expiration date, today was the last chance to start without having to get replacement doses at $150 each. We all crossed our fingers this morning as we got the lab results back.
I am entering this phase with mixed emotions. It is a relief to finally get back on the schedule. Every day we don't stay on track prolongs this entire process, and delays her reconstructive surgery even more (more on that in the near future). However, administering the chemo myself at home feel so invasive. The "bad stuff" has always been at the hospital, where everything feels foreign and sterile. I have been ignoring the light-sensitive bags of cytotoxic drugs in the bottom of my refrigerator, but now we have to give them to our baby, who is feeling so good. It's a bittersweet step towards being done with this forever.