We managed to get the go ahead this past week for last lumbar puncture and four chemo injections. End of Protocol 2A. I was told to make an appointment to see head oncologist and incredible guru and friend Toby Trahair for maintenance.
Maintenance has been the carrot at the end of our treatment stick. The 14-18 months of being at home with chemo tablets at night and regular check ups. It has been so close yet so far and my feelings of approaching it are ones of disbelief and massive emotion.
Lumbar puncture and two injections went well. By the third injection on day three Ruby had lost her appetite and her mojo. Sad and over it and very nauseous. The usual Drugs did not seem to work to make her feel better.
Our house nurse Donna (an incredible woman who has been with us from the start) came to us Saturday 4 November and confirmed my feelings of worry
‘she will need blood’
‘She does look pale’
‘Don’t ignore this’
My Panic button turned on again.
Saturday morning we are due at the hospital for last chemo injection at 1030. French champagne chilling for that night. Ruby wakes unwell. No fevers but a rash that indicates low platelets and a nose bleed that would not stop.
We decided it was our time in emergency. Making all the calls so they expect an immunity suppressed Ruby to arrive, we get there at 830am.
The nurse accesses her port (on a second attempt that made me nervous), pumped her with anti nausea drugs (at my insistence) and bloods were taken to send to the lab. My gut was correct – Ruby had only 18 platelets and 77 red blood cells. Time to Order her A positive blood and wait. All the while completing her last chemo injection. Not quite the ending I expected. Super star was so brave and managed to put her thumbs up for the photo without being asked.
I also at this point sit in amazement at the wonderful people out there who donate their blood. They have saved Ruby’s life. I urge and encourage everyone if they can to donate blood. It is so important. Thank you blood donors.
By 9pm we are given the green light to go Home. Exhausted we leave. In no mood for champagne or celebrations. Just a warm bed and sleep. Tomorrow celebrations – or more drama (read the next blog and see the turn in the road – you won’t believe it. I still don’t )