Our very last hospital visit on treatment

Today was our very last hospital visit on treatment. It was also a theatre day. To those who are not familiar - a theatre day for us means Bianca goes to the operating theatre where she gets a general anaesthetic and then a lumbar puncture where they insert chemo into her spine. I learned today that the general anaesthetic is the same stuff as Michael Jackson used to get which from what I understand he used to take to help him sleep. But one of the operating theatre staff mentioned that general anaesthetic doesn't actually help you sleep, yes you are unconcious during that time, but you aren't actually sleeping, but anyway. Initially in Bianca's treatment she used to go to theatre every single week, but since she's been on maintenance it's been every 3 months and today was such a day.

I warned Bianca that I was going to take lots and lots of photos. She's not all that fond of photos, but I explained that when she is 10 years old she won't remember and then she'll be happy I took lots of photos. So she went along with it to keep me happy.

Now just a warning, here are lots and lots of photos of our day. I figured that since this was our last theatre day it deserved lots of photos. So here goes:

Bianca's day started by taking 1 Omeprazole capsule, 200mg Acyclovir and 2.5mg Dexamethasone (this is the steroid Bianca takes every month). She had to finish breakfast at 7am in preparation for theatre at 1pm.

Bianca took along her baby to the hospital.

At the hospital we let Bianca wear a mask because she has a bit of a cough and at this point she hasn't seen her doctor yet. Here she is putting the Emla cream on her port site. This cream numbs the skin so she does not feel when they attach the IV line to her port site.

She got her finger prick. They get a small blood sample to get a full blood count. We usually look at her haemoglobin, platelet and neutrophil levels.

Bianca especially loves the special bravery certificate they give after the finger prick.

We always have to wait a bit after Bianca's blood test, so I took Bianca to the play ground they have at the hospital. Because she was the only one here, she took off the mask.

At Clinic they usually check her weight and height.

We waited in the isolation waiting room to see our doctor and Bianca chose some beads.

Then we saw Doctor Stephen. Thankfully he wasn't worried about Bianca's cough and she was able to remove the mask and didn't have to spend the rest of the day in isolation.

In preparation for the IVIG transfusion, they checked Bianca's blood pressure, temperature and her oxygen levels.

Then it was time for Bianca's port access:

And then as they were busy hooking Bianca up to her IVIG, she started stringing some of her beads:

Bianca's IVIG ran for around 2 hours. It helps boost her antibody levels to help her fight infection.

After this it was time for Bianca's Vincristine - one of the chemo drugs she gets every single month.

Finally it was Bianca's turn to go to the operating theatre. They always go through Bianca's notes before the time.

I was allowed to go in with Bianca and stay with her until she fell asleep. I have to wear this beautiful outfit which I'm convinced they've designed in such a way nobody will ever want to steal it :-)

Inside the operating theatre, busy getting the general anaesthetic which Bianca calls her sleepy medicine.

It took all of maybe 30 seconds for her to fall asleep. She was not in the least afraid and we've never had any problems at all.

Here Bianca is in the recovery area. By this time she already woke up, but fell asleep again for a bit.

During theatre they dressed up her baby:

During theatre they inserted chemo into Bianca's spine during her lumbar puncture.

And then back at the ward it was time for eating. By this time it was around 15:30.

We had to wait 1 hour after getting back on the ward and then we were able to leave at around 16:45 or so.

All in all, a long, but good day. As always no complaints and Bianca always copes so incredibly well. And this was the very last theatre day on treatment. Next one in about 6 months' time when they will remove her port. I can hardly believe we reached this milestone!


Sharon said...

Seriously! She's a really brave girl!!! AND YAY! For the last theatre day! I bet you all never thought this day would come!!!

superrelish said...

Thanks for sharing, I never really understood what Theatre Day really involved other than the LP. Now I see that it really is a crazy busy day. I am happy for you all that all went well for the last Theatre Day.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on hitting this milestone! Bianca is almost there, ten more days. How wonderful for your beautiful, precious daughter. I've been following your blog since 12/07 and it is hard to believe that you are just about done. I will keep reading as long as you keep blogging!
Rosemary NY

ABandCsMom said...

Yay!! So happy for you all.

Jacki said...

How wonderful~!
Bianca is such a trooper, and she looks so healthy!

You're my hero, baby girl!!

Anonymous said...

I am so very happy for you all. Especially Bianca. You will be in my thoughts all day.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't get over the sight of Bianca smiling away as she is being accessed. I am so used to Pete screaming and crying as soon as we mention the word "port".
Bianca, you are such a brave little girl. And I am so glad that all this will soon be over for you.
Hugs from Bridget and Pete

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining theatre for me

Anonymous said...

What a brave young lass. So happy that this day has come Lea. SO SO happy.