Well, we are at our hotel and settled in. We hit some light snow in the usual places but it was definitely a better trip than last time. As you can see in the picture to the left, Michael has already enjoyed the pool! We are just praying that that beautiful smile doesn't start dimming tomorrow. For now, he is laying in bed, drifting off to sleep.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day. We have to report to the pediatric surgical unit at 7:30 am. That is where we went to check in for Michael's surgery in August. We are hoping he doesn't make that connection or he will really get upset.
First, he will be taken to surgery and will have a "port-a-cath"(which is internal) implanted. We had originally thought to do a Hickman catheter (which is external) but after talking to several medical professionals and doing some research on the internet, we decided to go with the internal line. The upside to the internal one is no weekly maintenance by public health, swimming and bathing are not a problem and there seems to be less of a chance of infection. The downside is they have to pierce the skin for each treatment and if there is a problem, surgery is required to remove it. Dr. Korones said Michael will be uncomfortable for a bit while he heals from the surgery but that this will be the better choice in the long run.
Believe it or not, Michael doesn't mind needles but hates band-aids so the internal port is probably a better choice for him. Dr. Korones said they numb the site before accessing the port so Michael shouldn't mind that part too much. But if we had chosen the external port, it had to be taped to his chest and it would have been a dramatic scene everytime we had to remove the tape (trust me). I guess the bottom line is we didn't like either choice but had to choose one. We know that Michael has to live with our choice for the next year or more so this weighed heavily on our minds. We hope we did the right thing. I have added a link to the right under "Favorite Links" that explains what a port-a-cath is. And if you scroll all the way to the bottom of that page, you will see a link for a video that shows how they access the site to administer the chemo or to draw blood.
After the port is in, Michael will have his MRI and his first chemo treatment. There is no schedule for them but we are hoping they aren't too late in the day. Dr. Korones called just as we were getting to the hotel to see how we were doing and said that by this time tomorrow (8:30 pm), it will all be over and we will be on our way home. Let's hope so. I will update Michael's blog when we get home tomorrow night to let you all know how we made out. Keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers, JoAnne