We have a two week break from chemo (I thought it was 16 days, but it's 14) and then we begin Delayed Intensification. We have to go back this Thursday to check her numbers and make sure she is handling the chemos from Thursday o.k. and also for an echocardiogram (it's an ultrasound of her heart). It is standard procedure at this point because one of the chemos that she's on during Delayed Intensification has been known in the past (like 15-20 years ago) when given in high doses to weaken the heart. Our nurse explained that she will be getting a much smaller dose of that then they used to give a long time ago and that it is rare to effect her heart, but they watch it to be on the safe side.
Our doctor and nurse also sat down with us to go over what to expect for the next phase. After this break, we have a rough two months ahead. She will be on steroids for the first week of the phase, then will be off a week and then on one more week. We have such horrible memories of the last time she was on them so we are nervous for those few weeks. They build up in her body so by the end of the second week she is on them she will really be feeling the effects of them. There are also weeks during this phase where she will be getting chemo 4 days in a row. She will be on oral chemos daily and we will be at the clinic a good amount. They also told us that hospital admissions are more common in this phase because her numbers will be pretty low due to all the chemo. If she would get a fever and her neutraphils are below 750, they would need to admit her. We have never been admitted back to the hospital since she was diagnosed, but the nurse wanted to prepare us that it isn't uncommon. The doctor explained to us that this is their last chance before maintenance to hit her bone marrow hard to make sure no leukemia cells are hanging around.
Please hang in there with us these next two months. We have been so encouraged by many of you who are checking in to see how Abbey is doing and we need you guys right now. After long exhausting days we always love reading comments and e-mails from you guys and we know we have many of those days ahead. Please continue to pray for Abbey's full healing and for her body to handle this next phase better than expected. In about 2 1/2 months, life will start to get back to a little bit of normal for us, but it will get worse before it gets better. We continue to keep our eyes up and focus on the One who loves Abbey even more than we do. We have seen His hand in this since day one and know He will continue to carry us to the end.