Well today marks the end of week two of treatments! This week has been great so far, with only a few small problems here and there. Because Christmas is on Saturday, today was Mason's last appointment for the week, and he gets tomorrow off! We are both very excited to sleep in tomorrow. :)
We were told yesterday, that most of the hospital would be closed for the holiday starting today. This included Same Day Surgery, where we usually check-in, and then recover. But because they didn't want to miss too many treatments in a row, they had scheduled two Nurses to come work SDS specifically for Mason and the other Rad. baby they treat; a little boy, just younger than Mason, who we actually saw on the Neuro Trauma unit when Mason was in Primary Children's. He had medulloblastoma as well. :(
Most of the unneeded lights were off on the third floor (SDS floor), so it was very creepy when we first walked in...almost like a scary movie. Mason kept wondering why we were going there when there was no one there to check us in. But we heard the two Nurses talking just around the corner, and we went and found them.
Now I'm going to backtrack a little, because I haven't posted about earlier this week:
Mason's port was accessed on Monday without a hitch, and he even talked afterward, about how he didn't feel a thing. His treatments have all been received without problems this week, and they are now even able to customize his anesthesia so that he isn't asleep for so long afterwards. In fact, on Monday, he was wide awake before he even left the Radiology room, and the other days, he has woken up as soon as we get into recovery.
The only problems we've experienced so far happened yesterday, and today. Yesterday had to do with how grumpy Mason was when he woke up after treatment, and how long it took us to get him to cooperate. In case you missed it in my post yesterday, he tried to hit and kick the Nurse, and then went ahead an hit me a couple times. Poor Nurse! Poor kid! He's quickly getting tired of daily treatments.
Today, he had a different anesthesiologist that we haven't met before. It all went fine--he even remembered to take the needle out of Mason's port, so it wouldn't be left accessed all weekend. It wasn't until we got back to the recovery room, when the nurse (thank you Mary Kay!) asked him if he had flushed the port, that he realized he forgot to do it. He felt bad, because he had only flushed it with saline, and not Heparin.
The difference is that saline is basically just used to flush all the remaining medicine through the line. Heparin needs to be used at the end of everything, because it prevents clots from forming in the tube. If clots form (which is most likely to happen after a few days of not being flushed), they can either block the flow of blood in the main artery that the tube is in, or block the tube itself, making the port unusable, and causing neck and chest pain, and/or leaks in the tube. So basically, it has to be flushed with Heparin, or we could get some very bad news when he goes in for treatment on Monday.
Anyways, I know he was in a rush to get to another patient, because he made a call, vowing to be somewhere else in "just five minutes." He would have to poke Mason again, so they could flush his port. There wasn't enough time for his numbing cream (it takes about a half-hour), but I knew that they had a cold spray that freezes the skin to numb it, down in radiology. After the disaster last week, they had made sure to stock some down there, so it could be used if needed...and they made sure to let me know that I could ask for it whenever I wanted. :D
Well, I asked for it, but they couldn't find it. So the anesthesiologist just decided that he would try and do it quickly without numbing him first. I'm sure he thought Mason was sound asleep, and still under the anesthesia...but I knew he wasn't, and the worst way to wake up from sleep is with a poke! So when he came charging in, and went straight to poke Mason without asking or explaining, I was furious! So furious, in fact, that I was frozen in shock. I had no words, and couldn't bring myself express how vehemently I did NOT want that to happen (seriously? I can't believe I couldn't bring myself to stand up for my son!). I am so grateful that my sister Latu was there, because she just had to read the look on my face, before telling the anesthesiologist in no uncertain terms, that he needed to stop. I almost cried...I'm such a baby. Did I mention how much I LOVE my sister?
Anyways, after that he was able to remember that the spray was sitting on the med cart down in Radiology, and was able to tell the receptionist downstairs, exactly where it was. Hmm. It was brought up really quickly, and they were able to put it on him, and then flush his port. He did wake up in a shock when the cold spray was applied (didn't think about that one before hand), but he didn't feel the poke, and he just laid with me afterward, and seemed to be fine.
I think that was the first time in my life that I didn't tell someone "it's okay," when they apologized to me for something. I just half-smiled, and told him Merry Christmas, as he walked out the door.
So those are the only negative things I can say about this week. And luckily (thanks to Latu!), Mason didn't have to experience that today. He got to sleep through the most agitating part. :)
And, because I like to end with good news: Mason received a Christmas present from the Radiology team when he went for his appointment today. They got him giant Iron Man coloring pages, and the coolest crayons Crayola has made yet. They are "super slick," super thick, twisting crayons, and they color like oil pastels. He loved them so much, and spent the entire ride home coloring "thank you" Iron Man posters for the Radiation team, and his "fun doctor."