Hi friends, I hope you all have been well and that you are kicking off summer in the best way possible!
So many of you have reached out to ask how Dominic is doing and while I share a quick picture on Instagram stories occasionally, I wanted to pop in quickly to give you an update.
Since I last wrote, Dominic has completed cycles two and three of chemotherapy. Both made him sick one day of the treatment but with a tweak of the nausea meds, he was feeling better.
His new favorite in-hospital activity? Music therapy! He gets such a big kick out of playing the instruments 😁
He is also VERY into daily bingo 😍
On the last day of his second cycle, he had the opportunity to tour the helicopter pad on the hospital roof, which he LOVED. The view was amazing and we learned lots of fun facts (mom loves a good field trip, ha)!
While home, he continues to play and pretty much enjoys life as usual, including lots of outside time now that it’s nice out!
Between rounds two and three of chemotherapy, we traveled to New York for Dominic to be seen at Memorial Sloan Kettering, where they have a team of pediatric oncologists who specialize in neuroblastoma.
He is being treated under their guidance, so far receiving all of his chemotherapy here in Pittsburgh, but we will travel there for his tumor removal surgery.
We both had our first Uber ride, had Shake Shack for the first time (SO GOOD), and Dominic had his first stay in a hotel. A successful trip, but there is truly no place like home!
Our New Normal
We are getting very used to the signs of low hemoglobin (two days in a row of taking more drink breaks than usual while playing outside? We guessed he was going to need blood when he went to his clinic appointment the next day and, sure enough, he did) and low platelets (more bruising). He has had multiple transfusions of both since beginning this journey, so a great big thank you to anyone who has ever donated blood, as we are now so much more acutely aware of the importance of this selfless act.
Hemoglobin, platelets, white cell counts, neutrophils, and ANC numbers are now just common dialogue here.
We’ve all sort of settled into our new routine of treatments, trips to the hospital, managing medications, line flushing, etc.
The biggest hurdle since this last cycle of chemotherapy is that we have had to give Dominic daily shots (vs the one-time shots after the first and second rounds) and it is the absolute worst. He has always hated shots and he just dreads them, I get anxious, and it’s just a whole SCENE. The daily shots were utilized because of his upcoming stem cell harvest, to ensure his counts were robust (see below).
This coming week, Dominic will have a stem cell harvest, where they will insert a temporary line to extract stem cells (which will then be stored) should he need them in any capacity during treatment down the road. It is our hope that he would not, but they will be there if he does.
The next huge step is in two weeks when he will have his tumor removal surgery. Following the surgery, he will have another round of chemotherapy and then a few weeks after that, a battery of tests and scans to see where we stand with the disease.
Please continue to pray that the cancer is responding to treatment, that the surgeons are able to remove the tumor safely and effectively, and that he has a relatively easy recovery.
Fun at Home…
A few more pictures of the kids from recent weeks ❤️
Wishing you all a fun and safe start to your summer! ☀️❤️