Month: August 2014

Road to Recovery: Less Appointments!

On Monday, August 4th, our oncologist at City of Hope said he only need to come back for visits every two months instead of every month. Today, our oncologist at UCI told us we should only come back every two weeks instead of every week! All this because she is doing well and looking much better. This is a big step forward in the road to recovery and emotional well being. Less hospital visits mean less reminders of illness for my mom! Hooray!

One Year!

Exactly one year ago, Mama Pham was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah, Georgia. August 10th, 2013 was the start of our family’s fight against cancer. Exactly one year later, she is currently cancer free. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for all our family, friends, supporters and incredible medical personnel who have helped us through this time.

CNS Prophylaxis #5!

I have a backlog of posts about CNS prophylaxis side effects, kidney stones, a nephrolithotomy, and hospital staff. Hopefully I will get around to those soon!

Today is Mama Pham’s fifth CNS Prophylaxis. I have written about this procedure in the past. It is chemo that is inserted into the spine as preventative measure. Leukemia cells can infiltrate the Central Nervous System, but normal chemo cannot. Therefore, oncologists take preventative measures and insert chemo directly into the spine. While doing so, they first draw some spinal fluid to test for irregularity. The process of puncturing the spinal tissue and drawing fluid often causes patients to get extreme headaches because of the depletion of fluids around the brain. This can be remedied with drinking fluids or getting fluids through IV. However, if there is a leak at the puncture point, spinal fluid continues to leak into the body, causing continuous fluid depletion around the brain. That causes continuous headaches, nausea, dizziness and neck pain that cannot be remedied by much, not even strong pain medications. The leak is caused by the body’s inability to quickly heal the wound.

She has had very different reactions to the past four procedures. Here’s to a successful, pain-free, headache and nausea free Lumbar Puncture!