Tuesday, May 2, 2006

MRI @ CHOP followed by Lupron & Sandostatin @ Lehigh Valley

Being somewhat tired from TR & Kathy's wedding this past weekend, Max and I headed down to Philly last night to stay at the Wyndham. I had recently gotten a new laptop (mine suffered some trauma when it hit the floor in Florida last month) and I did not realize that my new laptop had no built in microphone. That made using the mapping software a little bit harder but it seemed to be enough to get us where we wanted ... until we got to Philly where I needed it to find the hotel. This is the same hotel that Max and I tried to find at night a while ago and ended up driving around the Four Seasons. I set everything up before hand on the computer and things seemed pretty good. We got off at different exit than before but it put us closer to the hotel so that seemed like a positive step. Then I realized that we'd started at 15th, were crossing 12th and wanted to go to 17th but the computer had been quiet for a while. Turns out it was too busy figuring out a new route to say anything. I ended up having to turn it off because it kept telling me to turn left when I knew I wanted to go right ... stupid technology. Max and I ended up going in two full circles before we saw the tiny Wyndham sign at eye level. Everything else said Sheraton or was really high up. I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong but I'll be using the software again this afternoon to get us up to Lehigh Valley since we haven't traveled that route before. Hopefully it will do better where the roads aren't so close and stacked two high like here in the city.

Max had slept in the car for most of the trip so he was a little awake when we got to the hotel. He made light banter with the ladies at the front desk and had I taken him to the bar I'm sure he could've made a few more dollars (he made $2 at TR's wedding doing bar tricks). Max was asleep again around 10:30 and then we were both up at 6:30 this morning. Things went well this morning and we got the CHOP almost an hour ahead of time. That has worked out well as our start time was 9:30, it is now 9:33 and Max is already 50 minutes into his scan. I talked with the nurses about trying to give him enough up front to keep him down for the entire scan because last time he needed more right at the end and that ended up making him angry Max for a good two days.

When he gets back to this room our plan is to get him dressed and wheel him down to the cafeteria so that we can get some food for the road before we head to Lehigh Valley for his Lupron and Sandostatin shots. If we finish as early as I think we will I'll have to call them to see if they can take him earlier since our appointment there isn't until 2.

Since I got burned once before by typing a really really really long email and then losing it, I'm going to update you in waves today.


Just a quick update ... the nurse just came in to tell me Max woke up and had to be re sedated. Should prove to be a nice long day.


It took about an hour for Max to wake up and the trip to Lehigh Valley was pretty uneventful. Max slept and the computer tried to take me there in a round about way so I shut it down ... again. We ate lunch in the hospital cafeteria and ran into the nurses while we were there. Max was a little grumpy and very un-balanced so we took our time and I tried not to do anything to start him on a tirade. I let him get french fries and potato chips for lunch. I'm sure the nurses thought that was a pretty good lunch for a growing boy.

Max's sandostatin drug is a little different than the lupron shot. The sandostatin must be prepared and injected in a very short period of time so we got to meet the pharmacist today. His nurse thought the needle was way to big so we went with a smaller one. Unfortunately the whole process of getting Max on the table for his shot took to long and the drug wouldn't go through the needle. He didn't cry for the first poke but he also didn't get any medicine. After some work on the sandostatin, Max got his second poke this time with medicine. This is much thicker than the lupron and, in fact, the residue on his butt afterward turned into a crusty paste pretty much right away. Needless to say he cried but not very hard and not very long. He was very brave but also thought two was enough. It took some convincing to get him to take the lupron. He was already tired so there were a few more tears but again nothing too bad. I was amazed that he didn't even say anything for the first poke so I was very proud of him.

It was at this point that angry Max came out and started to lecture me about many things so we headed home. Thankfully he fell asleep. He's on the couch now but I suspect, as does Tracy, that he'll be home tomorrow because he just can't go to school that angry. On Thursday he and I head back to CHOP for his eyes and to talk to his oncologist about the MRI and how things are going. Max will need blood work in two weeks to see how the Sandostatin is doing and then he'll be on monthly injections of both drugs for a while.

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