The second phase of treatment for ALL leukemia is Consolidation. The Consolidation Phase of chemo treatment is 28 days long.
What Type of Chemo is Given During The Consolidation Phase?
Day 1 – Vincristine chemo through his port.
Day 1, 8, and 15 Intrathecal Methotrexate chemo – This required day surgery at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Each week we reported to the clinic. At the clinic we met with his oncologist to have his port accessed and blood drawn to check his counts. Each week Gunner’s counts were perfect. He didn’t require any infusions of blood or platelets. Then he was transferred over to the hospital for day surgery. While under anesthesia, his oncologist injected intrathecal methotrexate into his spine via a lumbar puncture.
Day 1-28 Mercaptopurine chemo – Gunner took Mercaptopurine (aka 6-MP) daily in pill form while at home. This medicine needs to be taken on an empty stomach. So we were instructed to wait two hours after a meal, and then wait to eat for 30 minutes after the medicine was taken for best absorption.
Gunner did really well through this phase. He was also taking Bactrim daily from home to make sure he doesn’t develop pneumonia. During chemo, pneumonia can develop very easily from the immune system being suppressed. Gunner took one Bactrim pill in the morning and evening on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, I give him Zofran because Bactrim can cause nausea. Most mornings Gunner doesn’t eat breakfast right away and it is very hard to hold down on an empty stomach. I started giving Bactrim after lunch and that helped a ton. His oncologist said as long as the doses were 8 hours apart the pills would be effective.
During the third week of Consolidation, my best friend was in town visiting us. The kids wanted to going swimming at the YMCA. Swimming is one of Gunner’s favorite activities. Unfortunately, swimming is one of the most dangerous activities for kids with cancer. We have strict orders to only swim in pools preferably private polls not public, and no lakes or ponds. Any bacteria in the water can enter the body and cause an infection. When we arrived at the pool, I noticed the water was a little cloudy. The lifeguard assured me the chemicals we correct and nobody had went poo in the pool that day. Yes, I asked him if someone pooped in the pool. When your child has cancer nothing is taboo! So i allowed the kids to swim. Gunner had a blast. He jumped off the side of the pool countless times. Each time he would surface to the top of the water and let out his signature giggle. We were the last ones in the pool swimming. Less than 24 hours later we were admitted to the hospital because he was running a fever of 104.1. I’m confident he picked up an infection from swimming but honestly will never know. The following day after numerous doses of antibiotics he was released to come home. The rest of the Consolidation phase was uneventful! Thank goodness!
If you feel lead to help with Gunner’s medical and travel expenses click here to donate to the #TeamGunner GoFundMe page.nofollow We appreciate your love, prayers, and support as Gunner battles to kick leukemia’s butt!