Our trip to the hospital this weekend was unscheduled, but it wasn’t completely unexpected.
Up until now–as we’ve made our decisions about Chase’s treatment plan/location–we haven’t said too much about AT/RT, but if you read “The Other Shoe” and googled that specific cancer, you probably already have an idea about what this looks like.
The truth is that AT/RT is very aggressive and doesn’t have a great prognosis (I won’t share the exact percentage here because Chase is either 100% with us, or he isn’t and that’s all that really matters). Regardless of statistics, Chase is a fighter, and the cancer’s aggressive nature requires an aggressive response.
Treatment of AT/RT is a little like a Looney Tunes-style destruction of cancer cells: they’re going to punch it, and then kick it off a cliff, and then half-way down the cliff, catch it and put it in a cannon and shoot it to the moon… then let it fall to earth to explode in a fiery ball of death in the side of a mountain (I’m picturing Wile E. Coyote in my head right now).
What this looks like in real life is: getting to know the hospital REALLY well. Chase’s treatment protocol is front-loaded to try and force a remission and so for almost the entire first half of the year-long period, he is scheduled to receive chemo every week (yes, every week).
Because of this, he is going to be in a pretty continual state of low immunity, which means he’s prone to every infection and will get fevers very easily. Because of this, he will probably have a lot of unscheduled hospital visits (like this weekend) for antibiotics, transfusions, and extra monitoring. Chase’s oncology team had been verbally preparing us for this from the first day. It doesn’t save us from seeing him in obvious pain in a hospital bed with a fever of 104, but it definitely helps prepare us to expect it.
Does it sound crazy? Yes, probably, but our son’s life is the answer to that question, so how could we ever NOT pursue this treatment.
I do not know how this year will end or what the long term effects will be on our family.
Here’s what I do know… We are going to get through it (let’s all say it together) …
Moment by moment through GRACE
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. –Proverbs 16:9