Beth’s treatment plan

I realised today that one of the reasons I feel so calm about this whole thing is that I have a treatment plan. When you get given a diagnoses they tell you what regime you will be on and this tells you what treatment they will give.

With Elizabeth having ALL and a white blood cell count just above 50 she is on Regime B.

Regime B spans just over 4 weeks, it includes three bone marrow tests and lumbar punctures. One for diagnosis (which she has had), one a week and a half later (12th september for us) and one after the 4 weeks has passed.

They expect that after the second one they will see a huge reduction in the cells in the bone marrow and by week 4 they expect not to see any with the help of a microscope. She will then be in remission. She will still need tests over the next two years and if she gets a temperature or infection she will have to come back for monitoring but the idea that although September will be shit October might be better is definitely something to look forward too.

As part of regime B Elizabeth has to have one set of chemotherapy every week. Each set consists of a syringe of VCR (Vincristine) and an IV drip of Daunorubicin. She had her first dose yesterday and it didnt seem to have any side effects on her yet. She also needs to take steroids everyday in the form of a liquid as well as a few other medicines to keep and reactions or symptoms under control like paracetamol and antibiotics.

I suppose I was pleasantly surprised that she was only have chemotherapy once a week and that it will only be for four weeks as I had this image in my head of her being hooked up to a machine constantly. It is a lot more relaxed than that and when she is not too tired we go to play in the playroom and hopefully this week we will also head into the school room to take part in some of the structured activities that go on in there.

Having leukemia and going through chemotherapy is a lot easier than I ever imagined. I know that it will get harder if and when she suffers side effects but I know a bit of hair loss wont bother her. As she said today she hates me washing or brushing it so why does she need it.