The time has come to give you what you asked for… answers as to what is next for Jonathan an our family. Our battle against brain cancer has been successful thus far; he survived the brain bleed, the surgery extracted the entire tumor with perfect execution, and radiation was done with the lowest and least harmful amounts. Now that pinpointed attack is complete, it is time for chemotherapy to destroy anything harmful left throughout the body.
If all this worked, why chemotherapy? It is like getting a virus in a computer program. You can eradicate the virus from the program it arrived in (like radiation) but a full system shut down and restart is best, which chemotherapy will do. Chemotherapy is a full body endeavor, killing off any potential cancer cells.
We will have 9 rounds of chemo, each lasting between 4 and 6 weeks each. The math is not precise but treatment will last about a year.
In January, we will have an auditory test, a renal test, and an MRI. A visit to audiology will be done every six weeks as a precaution, as hearing loss can occur from the medication CISplatin. A renal test that takes several blood draws over 4 hours will occur six times to make sure the kidneys aren’t negatively impacted.
First, Cycle A: (6 weeks each) On January 11 we will begin Day 1 of chemotherapy, which will last overnight. An enormous amount of IV fluid will be flushed through Jonathan after chemotherapy to protect his little body. He will have three different medications, (Lomustine, Vincristine and Cisplatin) each a week apart on Day 1, 8, and 15. Then Jonathan will have three weeks for his health and cell counts to decline and then rise. When he counts decline he will be weak and unable to fight off even slight illnesses. It is VITAL that he does not get ill at this time. He will receive medications and blood transfusions if necessary to help him recover.
Then Cycle B:(4 Weeks each) Day 1-2: Cyclophosphamide and MESNA. Days 1 and 8, Vincristine. Then we wait for two weeks for the counts to drop and then raise.
We will give you more details as we can.
Tell Me Something Good…
Jonathan is not getting sick anymore! He is eating and playing again, although he is easily fatigued and quite emotional. He is the only one sleeping through the night at this point, but he IS sleeping!
He has a gift wrapped and waiting for each chemo dose, thanks to all of your gifts! His grandparents are also booked for flights to help us thanks to your donations. Thanks to your gifts we have ABOVE AND BEYOND what is needed to cover tickets for the year!!!! We can’t thank you enough. When we have more specific needs, we will ask for help. We promise.
Thank you for loving our family. It’s going to be another long year but we will come out swinging. We’re Team Erkkila. It’s what we do, regardless of how plans change.