Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We're baaaack....

Are you one of those people who reads ahead?
Do you skip to the end of the book so you know what's coming?
Did you know Aly Raisman was going to win the gold medal before the tape-delayed coverage?

Usually, I like to know what's coming. If the info is there, I want to have it.
(But I don't read the last page of novels. That's not me.)

In terms of chemo, I did NOT read ahead.

Someone asked me how many days of actual chemotherapy there would be this round and I had to say that I didn't know. Until today.

The good news? It is only five actual days of chemotherapy.


The bad news? It's called "Intensification Round" for a reason. It's five days of high dose cyterabine combined with etopicide. A fun cocktail. (By the way, I'm starting a new game called "chemo autocorrect." cyterabine autocorrects to "cute ravine" on the iPhone. I like that better.)

High dose cyterabine causes conjunctivitis. So every six hours, for six days (all the days of the chemo plus 24 more hours), they will put eyedrops into Sam's eyes. For those of you who are calculating, yes, that is at 8pm, 2am, 8am, and 2pm. Are we having fun yet?

He's handling it like a champ. So far we've had two doses. He's not excited about the idea of being woken up for it at 2am. But I'm hoping/expecting/praying that he just goes right back to sleep.

We'll see.

Some of today in pictures:

Sam played Draw does he know what DNA is?
Showing off today's free-app-of-the-day that is controlled by your voice. Caused endless amusement not only for Sam but for his nurses, who see this as excellent lung therapy. (In case you're wondering, it's called Scream-n-Run...friendly zombies trying to avoid evil bunnies...)
 Some serious chemo...started down in the clinic while we waited for our room!
 Sam took a long those wrinkly fingers?!
 A little eyedrop insertion is always fun, right?
 The whole floor is still on isolation but because we no longer have C.Diff, Sam can leave the room wearing gown and gloves. We decided that wasn't good enough and added a second gown as a cape and a mask...oh, and swords. That's just how we roll.
So we're back. Sam's spinal headache finally seems to be gone (another dose of caffeine this morning helped) and while the chemo has already caused quite a bit of nausea, he seems pretty okay with being back in the hospital. The routines are mostly familiar, the people are certainly familiar, and the surroundings? Well, we landed right back in room 582, so it doesn't get more familiar than that!

There's the new element of working on schoolwork, so we'll see how that goes tomorrow!

Sam loves all the mail that he's been getting, so if you've been holding onto some superhero pictures and waiting to send them, now is the time. Thank you to everyone who has sent lots of love so far!!!

Sam Sommer, E582
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
P.O. Box 1997
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1997

From my spot on the couch in room E582, to all of you out there, thank you for the love and prayers. Sam and our whole family know that you are caring for us in body and spirit. To everyone who is bringing meals to our house - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It is truly the most incredible blessing to have these simple needs cared for. We are beyond blessed to have so many people who have helped or offered to help with everything - thank you. For everything, I cannot even begin to enumerate all that you all are doing...thank you.

Thank you.


  1. How does Sammy sleep with all that caffeine in his system? Or does it work different on kids? Doubt that! In any case, glad it keeps the headache pain at bay. Now for keeping the rest of the nasties at bay...onward, Superman Sam!

  2. I love the shot of Sam in the gown / gloves / mask / sword! What a way to rock the sterile thang!

    Glad it's just (just!) 5 days of chemo, and I hope the side effects aren't too bad.

  3. My computer crashed and I lost everything... including my photo for Sam. I have to buy a new computer and take a picture and then send. I'm sorry about the delay.

    I love the picture of Sam in his gown with his sword. He's a real trooper. What if I want to play Draw Somerhing with him on iPad? What is his username? :) I think mine is Renee Schuls-Jacobson