Saturday, February 23, 2013

Long-term care team

Carys has reached a big, positive milestone in her cancer journey, and that is being transferred to the Long-term Care Team. This means that her doctors feel her condition is not as critical as it once was and that she can start to ease off on the regular testing that we do. So now, instead of MRI scans and urine tests every 3 months, we are now going to do them every 6 months. Her last scan was in January, and the results showed stable tumour, with some calcification. This is really good, as calcification basically means those cancer cells are dead. The calcification showed up as little white spots on the scan. Now that I have had time to think about the results, I wonder what would happen if the whole tumour calcifies? Being so close to her spine, would it affect her movement? hmmmmm, a question for our next visit! 
When we went to visit our long-term care team, we met with an oncologist, nurse, dietitian, psychologist, neuropsychologist and teacher. There are so many late effects that chemo can cause such as hearing loss, dental problems, movement problems, learning difficulties, growth issues, psychological issues, fertility problems and even secondary cancers. Since Carys's chemo regime was relatively short - 4 cycles, I hope that she won't develop serious late effects. She looks so happy and healthy now, it's hard to imagine that the chemo would have lasting effects on her. But I do remember during our first chemo cycle, when Carys somehow managed to disconnect her IV tube that was pumping the chemo drugs into her central line, and how the nurses freaked out and rushed to put on their protective gear whilst shouting at me to wash my hands with soap and water, because I was standing there holding the dripping tube. That really hit home how toxic the chemo drugs are! 
For her next check up in 6 months time, her dr has ordered an MRI, MIBG, urine test and hearing test.