Two and a half weeks at home! That’s how long the last “break” from chemo was. Though it wasn’t all good, and we kept things low key overall, it was so good to just be near the whole family for a lengthier stretch. Hop harvest has started and though Jacob would much rather be working, he still enjoyed spending time in the processing plant watching the action. This will be a very hectic time for our family trying to manage hospital stays, meetings, scans and surgery prep, as well as a month of hop harvest and school beginning in there as well. But, the time at home is over for now- the boys off to grandparents in Chilliwack, Ray focussing on the hops in Abbotsford and Jacob and myself in Vancouver. Today started with a CT scan of Jacob’s legs for surgery preparation. The scans will be sent to Germany so titanium parts can be made for his leg. We are so close to a final decision for surgery but we cannot say for sure until the repeat MRI, CT, and PET are done the first week of September. It will likely require amputation of some kind. This is something we are working on processing together as a family. The road to recovery and mobility will, without a doubt, be incredibly long for Jacob -and forever life altering.
Next on the to do list was prep for chemo. The nurses had difficulty accessing his port line and getting a blood return, so after a couple hours of trying we were sent to Imaging for a chest X-ray to see if the port line had gone out of position. That would require surgery and replacement of the port. Thankfully that was not the case, and the line just needed to be “unclogged” – so a dose of draino (TPC) went in, which is just a non fancy word for anticoagulant. That did the trick and hydration and premedication started. He received benydryl and ranitidine again in hopes he would not react – but unfortunately he did. 2 hours into the dose ( half the bag) Jacob got hives on his head, neck, back, chest and face. The chemo was stopped and a large dose of steroids given to stop the reaction. Things settled down and the doctor started the chemo drip again at a slower rate. Jacob’s lips began to swell despite the steroids, and the chemo was discontinued again with a second large dose of steroids given. The doctors consulted and they do not feel comfortable giving any more methotrexate tonight, or maybe ever, because there are no other medications to give except epinephrine at this point to keep the reactions away – they are afraid the next thing will be anaphylaxis.
Tomorrow we will meet with a team of doctors to discuss the next steps and if the chemo protocol will need to change. Methotrexate is 2/3 of the protocol – so you can imagine how vital it is that he can receive this medication to kill the cancer cells. Today was long, and it was stressful. Jacob is resting now and is completely exhausted. There is already so much going on, and these added stressors carry an immense amount of weight and bring anxiety. Not knowing what the next step is or the right chemo to give now feels pretty disheartening. The doctors say that this is very rare, and they do not know the next step themselves. Please continue to pray for peace for Jacob and the rest of our family as we prepare mentally for his upcoming surgery. Pray also that the doctors have wisdom as they discuss new options for Jacob so that we can effectively fight this monster. In all this, we know that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Romans 8:37