22 June 2011

Day 70

We are now in week 3 of the Consolidation phase and tomorrow Paige will have her second dose of cyclophosphamide, a particularly nasty drug that requires four hours of hydration. As you can see from this picture, none of this has stopped her from progressing onto big girl food and devouring a chicken leg like the half-West Indian that she is!

In the meantime tonight, after she had had her bath and was refusing to sleep, I noticed that the exit wound of her line was inflamed. In fact, it had bled very slightly. This, of course, required an immediate call to the hospital and, inevitably, a trip to the hospital. The nurse changed her dressing and by then the bleeding had stopped, but the flesh was still red. The big risk here is infection (specifically, bacterial), but it is difficult to spot: with her low neutrophil count, the wound will not secrete pus in the normal way, making it look less serious. But equally the redness could be due to her tugging at the line. A high temperature is the best indication of an infection (hence why we almost never give her paracetamol) but Paige's temperature was normal. In fact, she was bouncing around the room.

Given the infection risk, the doctors wanted to start her on Flucoxacillin, an antibiotic with onerous guidelines. She has had this before and it did not seem to do much, except put her off her food. Plus, Lisa and I were sure that she did not have an infection. In the end, we compromised by agreeing to keep her in the hospital overnight in case her temperature spiked. So she and Lisa are sleeping at hotel QA tonight. Which sucks, but at least it's only a precaution.


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