Friday, January 29, 2010

2nd last Cyterabine

We started pre-meds on Wednesday and checked-in to the hospital on Thursday for Amaey's ARC and Peg chemo. Technically we should be home by Saturday but so far that has never happened.

This time around they are continuing his pre-meds round the clock which means he is very sleepy because of ivy benadryl. However, he still went to the playroom yesterday and this afternoon. He is doing well. They just started the 3rd round of the chemo and the last round will be at 5am tomorrow. Around 10am he should get his Peg and then go home by 1pm.

We have a Kids & Art event at my house this Saturday. We have a wonderful artist working with 6 adults. This is art therapy for parents of kids with cancer. We plan to do similar art therapy events every month.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meds at home

When Amaey came home with the ivy antibiotics, it was a great idea. He could continue his meds without being in the hospital. He was in the comfort of his environment, had all his playdates, got to be with Arjun and sleep in his own bed.

However, I was on the edge. I can only speak for myself... Amaey needed his meds at 8:30 and 11pm and then at 7am and 3pm. We had to take his meds out of the fridge 30mins ahead of time. I seriously could not sleep for those days. Being responsible for your child in this way is hard. I was a nurse, sanitizing everything, flushing him and pushing meds through his port. I kept worrying that if I do something wrong he could get an infection. The night I gave him his last dose, I slept like a baby. It wasn't a hard thing to do but for some weird reason there was so much anxiety.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Back home

We got home yesterday. Amaey's counts were fine and he did not have a fever or anything. He does need to continue his ivy antibiotics so a nurse stopped by yesterday and showed us the drill. Now, I'm a nurse too. I have supplies to open up a small practice of my own.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I was cleaning my wallet and one after another I took out receipts for CPK, Panda Express, Chevy's ...

I started thinking about all the restaurants we have eaten at thanks to Amaey's cravings. I wish I had saved all the receipts, I could have made a nice collage or even a book. I was really curious so I started writing down all the restaurant names and this is what I got-- (the first 7 were absolute cravings from his meds)

- Pasta Pomodoro
- Annapoorna
- Fresh Choice
- Chevy's
- Shiki's
- Panda Express
- La Cumbre
- Red Brick Pizza
- Sino
- Sweet Breams
- Yogurtouille
- China Kitchen
- King Yuan
- University Cafe
- Zao's
- Pasta Primevera
- Mr Pickles
- Quiznos
- Amici's
- Shabuway
- Elephant Bar & Grill

There are many more that I can't remember full names of. I remember the time I was at Panda Express 3 to 4 times a week. Amaey would wake up dreaming of the penne in alfredo sauce. Then he moved to the Hillsdale Mall Food Court. I tried everything there while he settled with Panda. At some point I would shrink at the site of the food court. For the longest time CPK was top of the charts. And then he was in a phase where he had to try different cuisine each time we went out.

Quite a wild culinary ride that is still evolving. With his love for science and food I wonder if he will become a food scientist in life.

Still here

Nothing has grown in the cultures so that is real good news. No fever. No chills. But we still do not know what caused these things in the first place so we need to continue the 7 day dose of ivy antibiotics.

The hospital is trying to work with our insurance to see if they can send us home today and they can send a nurse home with the infusion system and the nurse will teach us to administer his meds. We are absolutely fine doing that if it means he can go home. He is doing fine so he might as well be home in his environment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jan 19

We came in for Amaey's Etoposide and Cyclophosphamide. The rains made today feel kinda dreary and cynical.

We dropped Arjun to school and drove to the hospital. After the blood test we had to wait for an hour for the results. Results were good and he was good for chemo. Around 11:30am they started his chemo and around 2pm after completing both the chemos they started a 1hr flush. Suddenly Amaey had the chills so I went and call the nurses and then there seemed like an emergency in our room. All hands on deck, Amaey shivering like crazy and a weird sinking feeling.

They need us to stay for 48hrs in the hospital. They need to do cultures and start him on antibiotics to rule out infections. They want to see what is causing this because this chemo would not give such a reaction. Also the reaction started an hour after the main chemo was given.

Amaey is knocked out from Benadryl right now and as soon as they have a room we will move in.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


On Monday Amaey was supposed to get his outpatient chemo but his counts were low so we came home. He is Neutropenic at the moment we will go back on Thursday.
Thursday was pretty much the same, his counts went up just a little so they could not give him his chemo. However, his hemoglobin did go up from 8 to 9.3 and I want to give the food all the credit. The cookbook has special food for anemia and we cooked most of it and Amaey religiously ate all of it.

Now we get the entire long weekend off and then go in on Tuesday.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


We got to go home late last night and that was quite a surprise. The last two Methotrexate stays, Amaey has made it home in 3 days and that is really great. This time around the hospital stay was relatively painless.

I picked up a book at the hospital called The Memory Keeper's Daughter. it was an amazing read. I could not keep it down. I finished it by the time Amaey was back home. I highly recommend it but bear in mind it is an emotional book.

Amaey did like his healing tea. I don't know if there is a relation but since we have started making this special food for Amaey he has been able to release the chemo from his body much faster. I think all this food interacts with the body and helps dilute the chemo faster. This only works with the Methotrexate stays unfortunately I have not found a magic solution for his painful ARC stay.

I cannot believe it... we only have 3 more hospital stays and then Amaey's intensification phase is done.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


A friend of mine gave me this amazing book called, The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz. For the first month the book just sat in the kitchen. I did not want to open it or indulge in it. Then on a whim I leafed through it and was surprised at the amount of information that was in the book.

The book talks about foods for 2 days before chemo, week of chemo, in between chemo. When one has mouth sores, nausea, upset stomach and such side effects of chemo. It also talks about foods for neutropenia, anemia, and such.
Preparing for Amaey's hospital stay I decided to make the Magic broth. When Amaey was in the hospital few weeks ago I took it for him with no expectation that he will ask for it. To my surprise he drank it up and asked for more the second day. Apurva and I were so surprised. This boy never eats anything when he is on chemo. He is constantly hydrated and the smell of the food in the hospital grosses him out so put those two together and he has no real appetite.

Now that the Magic Broth worked I started reading the book closely. When Amaey was at home during the winter break I made a Chocolate Banana smoothie, Mango Coconut Smoothie and Triple Berry Smoothie. He had them all with great taste. The Chocolate Banana Smoothie has almond butter in it and he did not complain... wow heaven.

Next I went to the soups and made spicy sweet potato soup, carrot, fennel and orange soup, and watercress orange soup. He slurped them up. You have no idea what this means. Apurva just called from the hospital to tell me that Amaey ate up all the carrot fennel orange soup and would like some more for tomorrow. I'm really ecstatic.

For tomorrow I have made him a Healing tea. It has cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, and ginger in it. When he is ready to drink it I will mix in almond milk, maple syrup and a hint of vanilla essence. Not sure if he will like it... I'm really curious.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a Heathy and Happy New Year.

We have not started the year with any profound resolutions. We did not even talk about what we wish for. All we want is to take each day as it comes and we will give it our best.

We are in the hospital for Amaey's Methotrexate stay. We are in El Camino and we will be here until Thursday. Amaey is in really good spirits and that is wonderful to see.
We had a good restful and much needed break.