In our last update, A Small Hiccup, we asked that you pray for Persy’s absolute neutrophil count (ANC) to increase. It was low at the time and we wanted it to increase so the daily injections could be stopped and so that his chemo could resume on-time. We want to let everyone know that those prayers were answered. On March 7, 2022, his labs were run in clinic revealing an increased ANC of 7,000 while the goal was just 3,000. Thank you to everyone for your prayers.
On March 14, 2022, the night before cycle four was scheduled to start, Persy spiked a fever. We had some doubts about the accuracy of our thermometer, but we saw temperatures between 100 and 104 degrees and couldn’t take a chance. We took Persy to the emergency room. It disrupted what should have been our last evening at home before the hospital. Persy had a bit of a traumatic night with trouble accessing his port and time in an uncomfortable triage room. In the end, his labs were fine and the fever which was likely the result of a passing infection, was treated with antibiotics. We went home for one more sleep at home before chemo.
The next day, March 15, 2022, Persy had his clinic appointment and check-in for chemo cycle four. The doctors needed to assess whether the previous day’s fever would require further delay of treatment. The decision was made that Persy should be admitted and the chemo should take place. The fever could be treated separately and wasn’t worth delaying any further. While Persy had a minor fever a couple times during the admission, it didn’t develop into anything worse.
Cycle four included two chemotherapy drugs… one old, one new. The one Persy had already had, Cyclophosphamide, wasn’t too bad. The other, Doxorubicin, had more pronounced side effects. It also came with a possibility of cause heart damage, so the doctors prescribed other medications in an effort to protect the heart. Persy was also given special medication to protect his bladder. In addition to the usual anti-nausea medication, Persy was given a steroid which caused insomnia and irritability. The lack of sleep compounded the irritability and made the time in the hospital trying for all of us.
The last morning in the hospital was a rough one with nausea, vomiting, and malaise. Persy was beyond ready to go home when discharge time finally came at noon on March 16, 2022. The doctors did tell us that the nausea from Doxorubicin while more severe was short-lived. By the time Persy was home in the early afternoon he was feeling good, smiling, and enjoying playing in the backyard. The three days and two nights in the hospital felt longer than they really were. Everyone was glad to be home.
One of the longer term side effects of Doxorubicin is mouth sores, which have been causing Persy some issues in the first few days since coming home. The doctors expect the mouth sores to be at their worst approximately 7 days after getting home, and they should heal within 14 days. Persy has been dealing with nausea and vomiting mostly in the mornings, and exhaustion in the afternoon as he doesn’t quite have the energy to keep up with his normal self. Still, he’s having mostly good days at home right now which we are very thankful for.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Persy. It means the world to us. We also pray that your prayers bless you and strengthen your relationship with our Lord. We didn’t know what an impact Persy’s journey would have on our daily and spiritual lives, but it is amazing to see Him at work in our world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.