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2:30 (Randall posting): It has been a quiet day at home with just Sophie and me keeping things going. Susan left for work not terribly early this morning (we all got to have breakfast together, which was nice for a change). Elisabeth seems to be having a terrific time at Oma's--so much so she is really reluctant to come to the phone and talk with us!

The home health visit went well this morning. Sophie once again removed the dressing herself and that was fine, as it has been for the last couple of times. She wasn't quite as cheerful through the rest of the procedure, but she didn't cry and kick and scream. One moment of panic was once all that was taken care of, the nurse could not draw blood out of Sophie's line. She tried and tried, but nothing would draw into the syringe. Turns out the syringe was faulty, because once we got a new one, all was well. The IV line is so critical to Sophie's care and treatment that we really need to make sure that all stays well with it.

I just got off the phone with the clinic, and Sophie's counts are terrific. I imagined as much given how well she has looked these last few days. Susan isn't here to format the treatment table, but I think I can borrow the html code from the previous table to give everyone a sense of what we're going to experience in this next phase of treatment (starting tomorrow).

Here we go:

Drug How administered Days
Vincristine IV (Intravenous) 1, 8, 15, 43, and 50
Dexamethasone PO (orally, twice a day) 1-21
Doxorubicin IV 1, 8, and 15
PEG-asparaginase IM (intramuscular, shots in both thighs) 4 and 43
Cyclophosphamide IV 29
Cytarabine IV or SQ (subcutaneous injection) 30-33 and 37-40
Thioguanine PO (orally) 29-42
Methotrexate IT (intrathecal--via lumbar puncture/spinal tap) 1, 29, and 36

If you're looking at a calendar, you might get overwhelmed, but day 50 (the final day of treatment) will be September 27th, barring unforeseen circumstances. In this phase, Sophie will get some form of chemotherapy for 37 out of 50 days. Two of these drugs (Doxorubicin and Thioguanine) are drugs that we have not yet encountered. The rest are familiar, not in the sense of being (fondly) familiar, but in the sense of how Elisabeth would use that word: "from earlier."

These next 50 days will undoubtedly be an enormous challenge to all of us, especially Sophie. We have already been carried thus far and we shall be carried through this as well, I am sure. Please remember to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we start a new adventure early tomorrow morning.


I'm so glad to hear that Sophie's counts are high enough to start this phase of treatment, but, oh, what a lot of strong drugs for her! You are all in my thoughts and prayers as you start this new adventure.