Mason started round five of chemo on March 24th, 2015. Round five was a tough round. It was a roller coaster ride of Mason feeling well and feeling sick.
Almost immediately when we were admitted for round five, Mason started showing symptoms of a cold. His nose started running and he was acting very tired. He only wanted to be held and was having a hard time breathing through his nose.
Our nurse wasn’t sure if his doctor would want to start chemo with a cold. After a discussion with the doctor, he decided to start chemo and put Mason in isolation. Everyone who entered the room had to wear a gown, mask, and gloves. Thankfully our nurses weren’t strict and didn’t make Tim and I wear the full gear. Could you imagine sleeping like that?
After a couple of days in isolation, Mason started feeling better and his isolation restrictions were lifted. This was such great news because Mason loves playing in the play room or strolling around the floor in his push car.
He was even feeling well enough to sit up and play with some bubbles!
This feeling was short lived though and soon after Mason started feeling crummy again. All the drainage from his nose mixed with an already nauseous stomach caused Mason to have a lot of vomiting this round. Since he was already on Zofran, an anti-nausea medicine, around the clock, the nurses gave him Ativan, a relaxant, which put him right to sleep.
Thankfully he woke up the next morning feeling better. He was able to do a fun music session in the play room with some other patients.
Again, this feeling was short lived and the vomiting returned. More Ativan and more sleep!
Thankfully towards the end of our hospital stay, the vomiting stopped and Mason was able to enjoy his car rides around the hospital floor.
Mason was feeling so much better and was moving around a lot! So much so, that he managed to unhook his central line from the IV tubing twice and caused chemo drugs to spill out onto the floor! Thankfully we caught it right away both times so he didn’t lose too much chemo. The chemo amounts that are given need to be very exact so if the doctors didn’t know how much he had lost and it was a big amount that could affect his treatment, it would have made things very complicated. In Mason’s case, both times this happened, it was noticed right away and very little chemo was lost. The doctor reassured us that he didn’t lose enough to affect his treatment.
After 7 days in the hospital, 3 days of one type of chemo and 7 days of continuous chemo that ran simultaneously, we were able to go home while Mason’s counts fell and rose. Even though Mason was able to recover at home, our time was still filled with lots of trips to the hospital.
Mason had a follow up visit with his cardiologist.
During Mason’s previous visit with the cardiologist during his fourth round of chemo, it was found that Mason had high pressure in his left lung. During this visit with the cardiologist, the echo showed that he still has high pressure in his left lung but the cardiologist didn’t believe it was being caused by his heart or his remaining heart defect, a small VSD (hole in his heart). He recommended that we get a sleep study to see if there was blockage in his airway that could be causing the high pressure.
Mason also had to get a platelet transfusion during recovery of this round. He had bruising all over his body so we knew it was coming. Even though I was happy that he’d be getting platelets so he wouldn’t bruise so easily, I was absolutely exhausted and did not want to spend one more day at the hospital! Thankfully my sweet mother came with me and helped entertain Mason while the platelets transfused.
At this point, we were so weary and didn’t have much left to give. We were really starting to feel the effects from all of this and the saddest part was seeing how Mason was affected. One of the things that broke my heart was seeing how Mason had very little fight left in him and how he just accepted his circumstances. In the beginning, when nurses tried to take vitals or change his dressing, Mason fought them hard. He knew the dressing changes would be painful. Mason’s skin is so sensitive that when the dressing was ripped off, the stickiness tore his skin and he would bleed. Every time we laid him down for a dressing change, Mason would cry, push the nurses hands away, try to roll away, rip his mask off, etc. Now, Mason just lays down, puts his hands behind his head, crosses his legs, and lets the nurses do everything.
Although this made these tasks less stressful, I wished Mason would fight. I wished Mason wouldn’t accept his circumstances and would let us know it. I hope that he’s just tired and weary and that when this is behind us, he’ll get his fight back.
As God has been throughout all of this, He was so faithful during this round. We were absolutely exhausted and I don’t know how we were still going. I can only accredit it to God’s sustenance. He continued to provide encouragement to us through our family and friends. He blessed my parents with flexible jobs so they could come to the hospital, watch Mason, and give us relief. His church has truly been his hands and feet and we’ve been blessed with many gift cards to provide meals for us. I am absolutely overwhelmed with everyone who continues to reach out to us. There aren’t words to express how thankful I am for our wonderful supporters. We couldn’t do this without you.