We had no idea. Not even the medical team knew what to expect. The MIBG treatment has been at the Children’s hospital Colorado for about a year and a half, so it is still fairly new. My’isha is the first child under the age of 10 to have this therapy done here. So knowing that she will need to be in a room, alone, with tubes and lines hanging everywhere, we planned for some sort of way to keep My’isha calm and preoccupied. However, being that she has sensitive airways and just getting over a cold, AND… she has an adverse reaction to versed, we knew we were going to have our hands full, and really have to try to think outside the box.
So, day 1 (yesterday) started of with line placements and such. We decided to give a dose of Ativan to see how she tolerates it since it is in the same family as Versed. The ONLY reason I even agreed to give it a shot, is because she was going under general anesthesia afterwards anyway. So, if she had a paradoxal reaction, they would just quickly sedate her. It seemed to me that the Ativan worked like it was supposed to. She was chill and very easily took the mask and went off to sleep.
I had to drive back home to try to make it to my A&P class, so I missed her coming out of the procedure. However, when I made it back, the story was that she was not handling the Ativan well at all. She pulled the NG tube out soon after she made it up to her room. She was upset and irritated. They stopped the Ativan, but she continued to be restless and hard to calm and fussy until almost 2am this morning.
So today, we decided to try something else. She is on a Ketamine drip plus Benadryl and Atarax. It seemed to be working pretty well, so we went ahead with the infusion of her MIBG. The infusion went well. There were a lot of people in and out of the room doing preparation and infusions and monitoring. She was very mobile and entertaining for the staff and I.
The nurses said the older kids just kind of lay there, while My’isha threw her noodles, dumped her pretzels, got twisted in her lines, had the doctor coming in to press play on her tablet, she called one of the nurses La-La which is what she calls my sister (in My’isha’s defense, she does kind of look like my sister), and hit the doctor with her empty chee-tos bag. The doctor said My’My was so fun to watch, that she is calling the monitor they watch her on “My TV.” I love that the staff calls her My’My. I have met very few people that I do not like at this hospital, and most of them take pride in doing things the right way… my kind of people.
Anyways, so about halfway through the infusion, we had to get a little more protective. I now have to get 2 layers of gloves, 2 layers of booties, and a gown on to go in the room with My’isha. I can touch her to clean her or feed her, but I can’t hold her to comfort her. I have to watch her via a monitor and microphone that connects our rooms. There is a big lead door between her and I to protect me from the radiation she is releasing.
I have to wear protective gear to protect myself from my daughter.
Let me say it again. My daughter is so radioactive, that I have to take special precautions and put on special gear to be able to go into the same room as her.
She isn’t even the most radioactive child they have had to treat either. We are lucky, because she is so small, and the dose is so low, that the radiation levels start off low. Anytime I want to think about how hard this is for me, I am very quickly reminded of how fortunate we are.
So she has been resting since the infusion. I have been in 3 times at least, but only once to give medications and such. I will have to gown up and go in every 4 hours for medication and such until her radiation is at a safe enough level, which at that point, we should be close to getting home.
As you know, if you read our blogs, the waiting game is a cancer mom’s job duty, and the one that takes the most time and often times the most energy. So, all we do now, is wait. The infusion lasted about 90 minutes, followed by twice an hour radiation level checks, medications, and a whole lot of waiting. We have to wait for her radiation levels to be low enough for her to be home and around people without exposing people to radiation everywhere she goes.
Until then… we wait and watch. I do my best to keep her calm and happy.