Mommy's Time Out Magazine March 2017 - Page 20

LAUREN & MCKINLEY'S JOURNEYS

Hello Friends,

This month Lauren started the Maintenance phase of treatment. This phase lasts for the next 17 months and consists of nightly oral chemo, monthly 5 day pulses of steroids, monthly IV chemo and a lumbar puncture every month or every other month. It sounds like a lot but is way less than what we have been used to.

We celebrated Lauren's 4th Birthday a few weeks ago (of course with a dog cake) and we are looking forward to living life and spending way less time in the hospital and clinic this year. March 9 is Lauren's 1 year diagnosis anniversary. Last year at this time is around the time I started seeing the first signs of what was to come. I hate thinking back on that time but I am so proud of where we are now and how far we have come and the people that have helped make that possible. I am thankful to be moving forward with this next phase of treatment.

Lauren continues to make us laugh and really enjoy the little things. Thank you all for all of your support this past year. We appreciate every single one of you.

xoxo,

Shawna

I haven't updated since Jan 13th. Kinda on purpose. There has been so much going on with McKinley but that's not the full reason. This update truly pales in comparison of what a friend has gone through this past month. And admittedly (and selfishly) I am/was fearful, threatened & a complete mess. Now to update where I left off.

I asked for prayers on Jan 17th because McKinley was going in for her 16th Lumbar Puncture with Intrathecal chemo (which was postponed from the week before because of a fever & she also tested positive for Influenza B). Her counts were high enough we were not admitted. Procedure/surgery days are just long hard days. She woke up like the champ she is from anesthesia & requested a popsicle. Her counts however were low (again)...so after one short week on 100% dosing of oral chemo she was (again) placed on hold. This is her FIFTH hold of Maintenance. This does not sit well with me and makes me a complete mess. There is no real answer as to "why" she keeps bottoming out and having to be held. The most uniform answer is "her marrow is tired" or "she's sensitive to chemo" but pre-B ALL is AGGRESSIVE that is why this is a 2-3 year treatment plan and I strongly dislike when she is off chemo and being held for so long. The fear/wonder is there..."what if it is back?"