Andrew was diagnosed with Erythroid (M6) Acute Myeloid Leukemia on November 4th, 2010 when he was almost 5 months old. Andrew is currently in remission from his cancer, after finishing his 5 rounds of chemotherapy. He is a healthy, happy toddler.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Round 2

So we're finally back in for Round 2! Instead of staying home for a week like we were expecting, we stayed out for 4 weeks. We were really anxious to just get back in and get it over with. I was curious to know if there was any sort of correlation between count recovery time and prognosis, but our primary oncologist, Dr. Barnette, said that there isn't for AML. Apparently chemo hits infants hard enough that they will often take longer to recover than other age groups. I just hope the first round was a fluke. If each round had a month-long break, we'd be here and there and anti-social for 7 more months...

So this round is almost exactly the same as the last round: Etoposide for days 1-5, Daunorubicin on days 1, 3, and 5, and ARA-C for 8 days (for the last round, it was 10 days). They call it "Induction 2" (the last round was "Induction 1"). We're in the pod they usually have for bone marrow transplant recipients, so the room is bigger this time--big enough to rival our last apartment for size. Also, we're right next to the Grays (one of the other 6 month olds in here), so that's awesome.

Andrew's definitely not feeling good right now. He's pretty fussy and definitely more lethargic than even yesterday. I asked for his anti-emetics to be spaced closer together so he doesn't throw up so much. He's swelling up a decent amount, but not as much as last time. He's only gained a pound so far, which is fantastic. I really am glad they hydrate him so much--I don't want the chemo in his system to just be hanging out, waiting for something to do.

In all honesty, though, my first night here was horrendous when it came to sleep. Andrew was up almost the entire night (I wonder if he knew it was New Years' Eve?), and it just so happened that the chemo started at bedtime to run all night. For the Etoposide (which they started at around 10:40pm), they needed to check his blood pressure every hour, which he woke up for. Apparently he forgot how to sleep through that, eye drops every 4 hours, and a diaper change every two hours. I tried to sleep next to him on the ground to try to keep him asleep, but to no avail. I also wanted to sleep next to him because he rolls so much these days and I was paranoid about him having the cords wrap around his neck.

These and other problems basically solved themselves overnight when I put him to sleep on his tummy. I know they tell you not to, but I've found him on his tummy a few times in the morning anyway. Also, I remembered hearing my cousin's wife, Karly, say that all her kids sleep better on their stomachs, so I decided to try it. Not only does he not roll in the middle of the night, he also stays away from his cords more often and can sleep through blood pressure and temperature checks. Hallelujah!

One of the nurses, bless her, tried to change his diaper when he was on his tummy. She ended up putting it on inside out, and you know, the polymers don't absorb on the outside...

It's been a good Sunday. We're just hoping he stays healthy and that the other little 6 month old in here gets better soon (Aubree).


  1. Fast Sunday's thoughts were almost all about you, Stew, and Andrew. Thanks for the very helpful update. It helps to visualize your life there in hospital.
    Love you all so, so much!

  2. The inside out diaper just made me laugh! Ha ha!

    Good luck with round #2. I am so glad you are finally starting. I can't imagine how it must have been so hard to be home for 4 weeks and just dying to start. We were never home for more than 3 weeks. We will be keeping in touch!

    P.S. All 3 of my kids slept on their tummys from day 1.

  3. Good luck with the round 2!! We'll be waiting for you in the village. Oh, by the way, Addie sleeps on her stomach all the time. I flip her but she always finds a way to get back on her tummy again.