Over the past year this blog has chronicled the life of Evan Coleman as he has undertaken a battle with cancer. He is a bright (full of life and intelligent) young man with more courage in his little body than seems possible for his size. What has transpired over the past week and is ongoing as this is written might be termed the ’Transition’ from investigation to action. While surgeries before have had the stated objective of ending this war, no attempt has encompassed such a broad and sweeping attack, nor has his life been in more jeopardy than it is over the next couple of weeks. This entry has the potential to get away from a simple and clear explanation; and instead end up as a tiring emotional discourse. This unfortunately might best reflect the emotional and physical state of the Coleman home as it exists today. But instead we have assembled multiple perspectives to share clinical facts and raw emotions from both Evan and his parents.
On Monday 12-1-08, a one hour operation resulted in a port-a-cath central line being placed for easy chemotherapy administration and blood draws. The operation was successful and without complication or issue. Chemotherapy had been slated to begin Monday 12-1, then moved to Wednesday 12-3 and finally to Friday 12-5. The delays were directly related to making sure Evan’s care came first. The chemo cocktail is a rare combination in pediatrics and requires close attention, considerable premedication and access to a ‘crash’ cart (In ~20-30% of patients, there is an anaphylactic reaction requiring immediate emergency medical attention, the crash cart has all the necessary supplies for an emergency resuscitation.) For all the preparation the most anxiety came from the premedication. The high doses of premedication to avoid the worst side effects of the chemotherapy resulted in an anxiety driven case of cramping sensations. This was resolved with Ativan.
4 hours of Taxol and 1 hour of Carboplatin and Evan was on his way home. Heavy doses of anti-nausea medications for 24 hours, coupled with rest and relaxation have Evan back to a relative normal for today (Sunday). Next round of Chemo set for 12-29-08 based on blood counts to be taken 12-15 and 12-22.
12-1-08: Here we go again. Can I not be allowed to sleep? Do I have to get in the car? Has anyone else realized its COLD in the car? Ahhh Sleep. . . . Uh Oh! The hospital . . . Wait . . . Are there any other options? Well at least the nurses are nice, but Mom and Dad seem a little tense. Hey, there are some really cool things in the oper. . . . Dad, is that you? Am I done? And what was this for? What’s chemotherapy? No more IV’s, cool! Mom and Dad need to settle down, aren’t I the patient? Get over yourselves already. Oww! My chest hurts. Ahh. . . Tylenol, Ahh . . . Sleep
12/2/08 Tuesday - Pain, 12/3/08 Wednesday - Discomfort and port awareness, 12/4/08 Thursday - Anxiety, questions and when can they take off this gauze blob on my chest? 12/5/08 Friday. . .
Here we go again. Can I not be allowed to sleep? Do I have to get in the car? Has anyone else realized its COLD in the car? Ahhh Sleep. . . . Uh Oh! The hospital . . . Wait . . . Are there any other options? Holy Toledo. . .they are going to poison me to kill a disease I don’t understand, what the . . . Are they insane? Nice try at the whole ‘comfort’ thing, Dad, Mom . . . Yeah, you guys go and talk to the doctor. . .Hey, nice lady, what are you doing with that port? Why am I on this bed in a separate room? Aren’t all the other kids walking around? Hey, something is not right. . . Something is really not right. . . Mom! . . . Dad! . . . My legs are cramping and I can’t stretch them out . . . Make it go away. . . DON’T TOUCH ME! . . . Now its in my arms and hands. . . MAKE IT GO AWAY . . . IT HURTS . . . DON’T TOUCH ME. . . . Yawn. . . . Sleeeeeeeep. Hey can I get my computer? Can I get some lunch? California Rolls please. When can we go home? The port access, gauze and nasty tegaderm are gone and I’m outta here.
12/6/08 Saturday - nice and easy, a little blasé, light nausea in the evening.
12/7/08 Sunday - nice breakfast, easy and light on the snacks, internet access and Nickelodeon. A shower - hot and sweet, a little nausea but basically back to . . . Hey my webkinz pets are still alive.
THE PARENTS VIEW:
Monday - Thursday 12-1 to 12-4 : When will this be over? Is this what it felt like for Abraham as he took Isaac up on the mountain? I would rather drink hemlock than have to do this. Where do I look for strength? Can you not cut me a little slack? Whoa! Wait up! A year of walking together, why are we taking separate paths now? Is this when personal interest overwhelms the need to serve others? That was ugly. Let us pray. We’ll need all the strength and connection we can get.
Friday 12-5: Off we go. He’s kinda tough to get up this morning, but maybe that’s best, we’re a little tense. Nice quite ride to the hospital and up to the pediatric oncology clinic. Infusion start in the ‘Code’ room.?.? Possible reaction. . . Dexamethasone . . . . Benadryl . . . Zoll Debibrillator . . . Crash Cart . . . ER Gurney . . . ANXIOUS . . . FEAR . . . EVAN WHAT’S WRONG? PRAY . . . PRAY . . . PRAY . . . ATIVAN . . . PRAY . . . PRAY . . . Sleep . . . Peace . . . Tension easing . . . Evan your back . . . California rolls, you bet . . . Let’s go home.
Saturday 12-6: Taking it easy, working together, friends with food and coffee. Managing nausea and fatigue, his and ours. Quiet movie night, Thanking God for our friends who have kept Morgan active and involved in her activities.
Sunday 12-7: Breakfast, writing, decorating the house, answering computer building questions, math homework, language homework, thinking about school. Reality of low blood counts and decreased immune system in 7 days setting in.
Sunday Evening and Monday Morning 12-7 to 12-8: First clear side effects challenges
To Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and love.