Day 3: Leukemia – the Yucky Stuff
Micah started his first chemotherapy today and although we have been through this twice before there are many new experiences. Micah had his first of what will be many lumbar punctures. Just the name sounds awful. A little after noon, Micah was sedated for a procedure to remove some spinal fluid from his spine. There were two purposes for this procedure: first, was to test the fluid to see if the Leukemia is in the nervous system and second, was to inject chemotherapy directly into the spinal fluid. The procedure went well. The most difficult part of the process is finding a spinal space to inject. Micah’s back is so stiff that bending him to open up those spaces is very difficult. It took 2 physician’s assistances, three medical students, one nurse, one child-life specialist, and one very concerned mother for everything to workout.
Later that afternoon, we did find out there were Leukemia cells in the spinal fluid. After he completes the intravenous chemotherapy treatments he will have to have two lumbar punctures per week until the fluid is clear of cancer cells.