Clinic Day #33

May 27, 2010

Some clinic days go well, others don’t. Today… not so much. It was Tanner’s once every three months lumbar puncture where they take spinal fluid to test for leukemia cells and inject chemo (methotrexate) into her spinal column. This is because the Central Nervous System (CNS) protects itself from the chemo injected into her blood stream or taken orally. Therefore, leukemia cells hide in the CNS like devious little monsters and come out when the coast is clear. Injecting chemo directly into the spinal column kills them where they live and, hopefully, prevents the leukemia from coming back. Having CNS leukemia is a serious thing that necessitates some pretty serious “super chemo.”

Tanner hates having the lumbar puncture. It’s not the LP itself, but the fact that she has to be put to sleep that bothers her. It’s the only thing through all of this that she really has a big problem with. She worries about it for days ahead of time and today was one of our worst experiences. She broke down in the pre-op room and held the end of her access line refusing to let them give her Versed to calm her down. We ended up getting them to put a longer line on her port and they hid behind her while they injected her line with propofol so she didn’t know it was coming. Right before she went out, she looked at me with panic in her eyes and said, “It that the sleepy milk?” She could feel it going into her port.

It’s so sad. There’s no reasoning with her about it. I think it’s the place she has chosen to put her anxiety about all of this. She is brave about having her port accessed, about getting chemo, about all kinds of other things, but this is where she harbors the anxiety she swallows from all of it. Thankfully, it’s only once every three months, but next time, we will give her anxiety meds before we leave the house… it seems like the kind thing to do.

She usually wakes up from the propofol pretty well, but didn’t today for some reason. She couldn’t wake up and didn’t feel well. In the car on the way home, she got pretty sick. I assume maybe the methotrexate LP did it. It usually doesn’t make her sick, but IV methotrexate does. Poor thing.

So, not such a good day. Hopefully, she’ll feel better tomorrow. We start steroids tonight… just more fun.



2 thoughts on “Clinic Day #33

  1. Poor kid. Poor mom. That’s tough to watch/be a part of, I’m sure. Stupid leukemia. Crossing fingers that tomorrow will be better. (BTW, B and I are still coughing, so we figured we should stay away. Can’t imagine a lingering cough-y virus would help the sleepy milk go down any easier.)

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