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3:30 PM (Susan posting): Sophie had another blood test today, and the results are in. Her ANC jumped from .3 last week to 1.6 this week (It has to be .75 to proceed with treatment). That means we'll start phase 3 of her treatment tomorrow. We'll be in the clinic for a fair amount of the day. She'll be getting three types of chemo: methotrexate through a spinal tap, methotrexate through her IV, and vincristine through her IV. We'll have to go back again on Wednesday for her to get chemo through shots in her thigh muscle (PEG-aspariginase)--apparently the IV methotrexate and PEG shot can't be administered on the same day. It's unfortunate, because the shots really hurt, and it would have been nice if they could have given them while she was sedated for the spinal tap.

This phase of treatment, which involves visits every 10 days or so, lasts about 48 days, then she'll take a break for her counts to recover. The fourth phase involves eight different chemotherapies administered at different intervals, including 21 days of steroids--yikes!. The last maintenance phase will involve monthly clinic visits, and it will end two years following the start of phase 3, so we're looking forward to being done on May 31, 2007!

Here's a breakdown of the medication schedule for phase 3:

Drug How administered Days
Methotrexate IV (Intravenous, increasing doses with each visit) 1, 11, 21, 31, and 41
Vincristine IV 1, 11, 21, 31, and 41
PEG-aspariginase IM (Intramuscular--thigh shots) 2 and 22
Methotrexate IT (Intrathecal--via spinal tap/lumbar puncture) 1 and 21


I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. I hope that things will go smoothly at the clinic.