In January, Atia was released from the hospital after a brief three day stay. A few days later, she had a home blood draw and I prayed that her counts were high enough to resume chemo. Luckily, they were and she did. Seven days after she had been hospitalized, we were back on track.
It was a good thing too, because I had a lot going on. That Saturday (January 23rd), the ladies of “Ay, Mama!” were interviewed on WGN Radio. It was the first time I had ever been on-air and I LOVED every minute of it. I hoped we would get to do it again soon.
Then, that evening, my sister and I hosted a surprise birthday party for my mom. I had actually finalized many of the details while in the hospital the weekend before. It was crazy, but provided me a much needed distraction. My mom’s party was SUPER FUN. She was totally surprised and surrounded by tons of people that love her. I was happy to be part of such a festive event.
By early February, at 28 months old, Atia was doing well and had graduated to matching her “Your Baby Can Read” flashcards:
Around the same time, at four months old, Asher began rolling over and sitting up in his Bumbo – no more leaning to one side for him.
On February 7th, Atia had a spinal tap. It had been three months since the previous one. Spinal taps were always frightening. Unfortunately, I had come down with another sinus infection, so Steve had to take her alone. As you know, I had only missed a few appointments(right after giving birth to Asher), and NEVER a spinal tap.
Waiting at home, I was a nervous wreck, but Steve was awesome. He must have sent me ten text messages and pictures. He kept me updated on everything, including the fact that they had to wait over two hours for the procedure to begin. That was unusual. It normally began shortly after our arrival.
Atia passed the time by playing in the chemotherapy treatment room and sleeping. When her port was finally accessed, she didn’t cry. For those keeping track (like me), it was the third time she hadn’t shed a tear. She had become so brave and when they got home she proudly announced, “Mommy, it no hurt!”
Once the procedure finally began, the Propofal (same anesthesia Michael Jackson used) was injected and she “went under” smoothly. Dr. Rubin flawlessly performed the spinal tap and injected her with another dose of chemo. The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes. It took a while for Atia to wake up, but when she did they headed home.
As always, the procedure marked the beginning of her five-day steroid treatment, which causes huge mood swings and HOLY COW did they come quickly. The next day she was flying off the handle at the drop of a dime. As a result, we catered to her every need hoping to curb her inconsolable tantrums. We never blamed her for her outbursts; we understood they were the result of the drugs. It was miserable for her and absolutely exhausting for us.
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Filed under: Maintenance Phase
Tags: @llutarewych, ALL leukemia, birthday party, blood draw, Bumbo, Cancer, childhood cancer, Comer Children's Hospital, Hospital, interview, kids with cancer, Leukemia, Micahel Jackson, mood swings, Propofal, spinal tap, steroids, surprise party, Twitter, University of Chicago, university of chicago medical center, WGN, WGN Radio, Your Baby Can Read