4:09 PM One down, one to go. That's where we are. Sophie went to Chapel Hill today for her next-to-last treatment. She started steroids yesterday and will finish this weekend, so we're going to have a fun-filled couple of days! It's very exciting to be nearing the end of this part of our journey. Susan talked with the doctors about transitioning to follow-up care at another facility near my next appointment in the New Mexico Conference (we know where but we're not yet at liberty to say where--stay tuned). The doctors made a point of telling Susan, "Of course, you realize, we're really ticked at you for leaving!" They really genuinely care for us and for Sophie. Dr. Gold has now told both Susan and me that if we have any questions about anything that we are free to call, even if it's ten years from now. It's a very special kind of care that we've received.
Sophie's visit to the clinic seemed to go well (from what I hear). Of course, there was some anxiety about getting "poked," but it only took one try and everything went smoothly from then on out. We got a better sense of how treatment will wrap up and how follow-up is going to work, so we feel good about that. Dr. Gold is even going to do some research on our best options in the area where we'll be moving. It's nice that he's going out of his way to help us with that transition.
Sophie was slated for another treatment in May (spinal tap and dose of vincristine), and then for a last check of her spinal fluid and bone marrow the first week in June. Dr. Gold recommended, however, that given Sophie's anxiety over the "dizzy medicine" that we might be able to double up and just do one visit that first week in June. This way, she gets sedation in the clinic and while she's sedated she'll get the spinal tap, dose of vincristine, and bone marrow check--otherwise we'd be looking at two sedation events within two weeks. Sophie will continue to take oral chemotherapy at home until May 31. After that date, she'll take her antibiotic for three months. It may take up to one full year before her immune system is back on track, so we'll need to continue to take care and be vigilant about fevers and the like. She will go in once per month for a blood draw and physical exam that first year.
Can you tell how calm and reassuring this transition is, compared to what we've been through? I hope so. I knew we'd be excited about ending treatment (and, of course, there is some anxiety about quitting what's made her healthy the past two and a half years), but it feels really, really good!