Riker is thriving. She's up over a pound and a half since she was admitted to the hospital. Just over 4 months old and she's 12lbs 10oz. I'm so proud. She's starting to keep down her feedings, too. It turns out one of her antibiotics was causing the spit ups. We couldn't be happier.
Day #28 of her first round of chemo is next Tuesday. That means she's going to start her second round of chemo that day. She's done so well over the last month, I'm so scared that this second month will not be as easy on us. It's coming up so fast, too.
That same day, she'll be sedated and further tests will be done. This time, she shouldn't have to be intubated. Let's all hope she keeps breathing fine on her own. They will be doing a spinal tap again, so they can test her fluid and make sure there are no cancerous cells in her spine and brain. At this time, they will be putting chemo directly into her spinal fluid so that it can get to her brain. Chemo does not pass through the blood/brain barrier very well. They also will be looking to get a bone marrow sample. Last time, they were unable to get a sample; this time it will be crucial that they are able to.
I'm not sure how long it will take, but the samples will be sent to Seattle for testing. We are really hoping to hear that she is in remission. This does not mean that the cancer is cured but it does mean that the chemo is working. If she's not in remission, it doesn't mean she won't be in remission after this second round. Either way, this is the news we are hoping for - this means she has a chance of survival. No matter what, she'll have at least 6 rounds of chemo total - she will spend most of her time in the hospital until at least November. I dare not even hope she'll be home for her first Christmas.
On a more positive note, since her white blood cell counts should be up, we're hoping on having some small family adventures this weekend before the chemo. We will not be going home - it would just be too dangerous to be that far away. I actually don't even know if we'll be going home when she recovers from the second round of chemo. I don't think the subsequent rounds will be quite as agressive as the first two but we'll have to wait and see. We'll know more around the end of July/beginning of August.
On Saturday, I'm really hoping we can finally get some family photos. I am so devastated that we didn't have these done before Riker's diagnosis. The guilt is absurd but the guilt is there, nonetheless. I need photos of my babies before anything else can go wrong. I can't quite explain how desperate that feeling is.
On Monday, we may get to leave the hospital for a few hours for the 4th of July! We're planning on a picnic/barbeque at Deering Oaks park. I'm going to wear her in my front carrier and keep her safe and close. I cannot wait to have a normal moment with my family.