Thursday November 8, 2011

This day deserves a wow! 

At the end of the day, a new, highly selective inhibitor drug - a chemo called crenolanib - is in Shannon's system and our next fight is underway.

The day started at 7a in the Triage Unit at St. Jude's Children's Research hospital with an IV inserted in Shannon's left hand that will stay in place until Saturday.  The first blood draw provided baseline numbers.  The crenolanib was introduced by 8:50a.  Three little tablets that Shannon ingested easily under the guidance of a PK (pharmacokinetics) nurse named Sherry who made us all feel comfortable and safe.

Then Shannon had to give about 5 tubes of blood after 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours and then the final draw came about 3pm.  In between, there were meetings with researchers, child-life specialists, Dr. Wetmore's nurse practitioner... and an encounter with Carmen Electra.

I made Jen and Shannon rush out and check out today's celeb spot of the day as Ms. Electra waited to jump on an elevator.  They were not impressed and headed back into the Medicine Room.  We are learning that the celeb sightings around St. Jude's are pretty common - especially around the holidays.  So hopefully we can chronicle a few more over the course of the next couple weeks.  The girls accused me of being a creeper - but Carmen didn't notice.  A striking woman I have to admit - but she's a little too tall for me.

But our little Shanner had a tough day.  She was tired and lethargic and a little nauseous.  Lots of chemicals coursing through her blood stream.  And lots of blood drawn.  We helped her around the campus and tried our best to get her to eat some bland foods and drinks fluids.  But we are suspecting she may be worn down from sleep deprivation and the overall stress of being away from home, managing a school load from afar, uncertainty and - there's no denying it's impact on her energy -  the Big C.

Today's day brightener; the sun.  It made an appearance in our world for the first time since arriving in Tennessee.  Tomorrow's day brightener; Sunny.  Our dog should arrive with Grandma and Papa Harkins mid-day when our appointments are completed for the day.  At that time we will pack up and head for a town home we have rented out near Shelby Farms Park in Germantown TN.  We will set up camp there for the next two weeks.  Our pad has king sized beds, a kitchen, multiple TV rooms, a fitness center and access to tons of green space, trails and fresh air.  We are ready to turn over our room here at Grizzlies House.

We tried to give Erin as much attention as we could today but it was another all-about-Shannon day here at St. Jude's.  The staff around the E clinic is getting to know us and warming to our Yankee ways.  I think we are a little less invested in relationships at St. Jude's but we have some angels watching over us and helping us negotiate the local culture. 

Friday is a new day.