I know that this blog is about Cole, but there are some serious issues which first must be cleared up before we can, in good faith and with peace of mind, proceed. If you are an adult, and if you are wearing jeans, then you should not be wearing brightly colored crocs. There is just no reason for that kind of insanity. Please stop now. You know who you are.
There, now let’s move on, shall we? We are in the home stretch of what is visible in front of us. Did that make sense? Why am I asking questions? Hello, is anyone there?
Anyway, Cole begins his last scheduled hospitalization on Tuesday night. We are hoping that this week will go by fast and I can get my boy back home for good. While Kaiser Santa Clara hospital is not the worst place in the world to spend a few nights, I think that I can safely say that I do not ever want to see the 3rd floor again.
Last Friday, Cole and I went to his pre-admission doctor’s appointment. First off, Cole has surpassed the 50 lb mark. 50 lbs has been, for me at least, the magic, albeit slightly arbitrary, weight number for him. Throughout all of these treatments (Chemo, BMT, Radiation, Immuno) we have been struggling to get his weight back up to a normal weight for a 6 year old of his height. He is not there yet, but he has definitely on his way.
At the appointment Dr. Taggart also informed us that she had given the big dogs at UCSF Cole’s file to review. The reason for this is that his last imaging still showed some neuroblastoma cells. Dr. Taggart said that these cells could be dead cells, mature cells, or active cells. There is no way to know just by the imaging. Odviously dead cells are the best. Mature cells are good because they will not reproduce. Active cells are, of course, not ideal.
Since the area that is lighting up on the MIBG scan (MIBG is the grown up word for the test than can detect neuroblastoma cells) has not increased in size, Dr. Taggart is optimistic that the cells are either dead or mature. In an abundance of caution; however, she sent Cole’s file up to UCSF for them to look at this issue.
UCSF basically came to the same conclusion that Dr. Taggart came to. So, after this week the next step is to do another set of imaging. If there is no change, then they are going to have the formal tumor board look at Cole’s file in order to make a recommendation.
They might try and perform a biopsy. By pulling actual cells, and looking at them under the microscope, they will be able to say with certainty what is the diggity yo. The difficulty with getting the biopsy is that since the cells are so close to the aorta (which is the reason they could not take them out to begin with) they might not be able to, safely, get to the spot to grab the cells.
If the biopsy proves not worth the risk, they will probably recommend that we do nothing but watch. We will regularly monitor and image him, and if the area does not ever increase in size, nothing will need to be done.
So that is the skinny on where we stand. I say good bye for now, and ask that you please raise your glasses and toast Cole, radish farmer.