Day 39: Beginning of the Consolidation Phase

Yes... we are still here.  We did not intend to miss blogging this week after getting such great news of remission, but it was a busy week for the Cody household.  This week will be no exception as we enter the consolidation phase.  Since the blood work reveals Elliott is in remission, the goal now is to keep the leukemia cells from returning.  This next phase, consolidation, will be pretty intense beginning on Tuesday with a lumbar puncture, and three new chemo medications.  The lumbar puncture will inject a drug that he has already had before (Methotrexate), he will also begin taking a new oral chemo medication (Mercaptopurine) and also have two infusions, one that will be quick (Cytarabine), and another that will infuse a little longer (Cyclophosphamide/Cytoxin), but have more work involved.  Because this drug, Cytoxin, is so toxic and harsh to the bladder, Elliott will have to receive hydration before and after the infusion, which will mean a very long day.  Fortunately, William's mom will accompany us to the appointment, so William and I will only have to stay a short time and will minimize time away from work.  Wednesday through Friday, he will have to go each day, but for a much shorter period of time to receive just the Cytarabine.  Next week will be four days of chemo again and a lumbar puncture to begin the week, but thankfully no Cytoxin.  He will have lumbar punctures the third and fourth week too, but not the high frequency of office visits.  We will get a break for a couple weeks for his counts to recover and then the process starts again with two weeks of chemo 4 times per week.  So, September and October will be busy.

This past week, Elliott has been a happy kid.  He had more energy to play and move around.  He still has no interest in walking, but did crawl a bit.  He enjoyed some time outside and swinging on the swing set.  I enjoyed seeing him smile so big and bright and even laugh several times.  It was clear he was feeling better.  Hopefully this next phase of chemo doesn't bring him down too much, so that is our prayer for this week, along with prayers for William and I as we try to balance busy work schedules, a demanding chemo schedule for Elliott, and the household ball of energy otherwise known as Laurel.  :-)     

Sorry, but I don't have my photos together, so I will save those for the next post.