Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 -
Today we traveled to UIHC again to meet with Dr. El-Sheik, the pediatric oncologist to talk about the possibility of chemotherapy. He had pretty much told us what we had researched online about how there was no measurable benefit for chemotherapy at this time. He said that maybe later on down the road he may have some to stave off some of the symptoms that he may be having, but as of right now he didn't recommend it. We will definitely pray about it. We obviously want to make the right decisions and we want Oliver to be as comfortable as possible throughout this ordeal.
We then went to the Radiation Department to get Oliver's radiation mask, pillow and mouthpiece formfitted to him to get it all set and ready to go for his future radiation treatments. We met Dolly, who is the cheif radiation therapist I believe and she was great with Oliver. She explained that we needed to get him a mouthpiece to wear during his treatments. He even got to help construct it. She told him that it was kind of like what football players wear in their mouths. It was a clear plastic shell which she poured some green paste into. He placed it into his mouth for about three minutes which made the impression of his teeth and then it set a few minutes later. He helped to attach some more pieces to it which he wore during his CT scan and subsequent radiation treatments. She did a great job explaining everything to Ollie before it happened. (I wish I had my camera to take pictures of him building it! He did such a great job!)
After a bit, we met with Dr. Buatti again to discuss his radiation therapy. We would begin treatments on Thursday morning at 11 am. The hospital was going to be closed on Friday and Saturday for the holiday (New Year's) but a technician would be there to give Oliver his treatment because they wanted to get him started right away. How nice is that!? So he would have his treatments this week on Thursday (31st) at 11 am, Friday (1st) at 8 am and Saturday (2nd) at 7:30 am. Ed had told him what Dr. El-Sheik had said about chemotherapy and Ed asked Dr. Buatti what he would do if it was his child and he said that he would do radiation with a low dose chemotherapy. So, we will see about that later on.
We then waited in a family waiting area for a while and Ed read to him. Ed nodded off for a few minutes and so Bry took over reading a book about fish to him while I layed on the couch to rest my eyes for awhile. (Bry and Oliver are fishing buddies and I fully expect them to go on some excursions together this summer!)
Oliver went to get his CT scan and got his pillow shaped to his head and then they made the mesh mask. They get it wet and while it is still pliable they mold it to his face so it fits perfectly. He was very nervous for this as I would be if I were a kid, but he did GREAT! It helped that the nurses were all so fantastic with him! He then went to get his MRI done while Bry and I waited for them to get finished in the family room. Oliver has wanted Ed to be with him as much as possible and I've noticed his attachment to him more and more, even at home. He loves his Papa so much, which he should because he's got THE BEST daddy a kid could ask for! When he came back in, the nurse handed me a baggie with some beads in it. They are called "Beads for Bravery" and with different things the kids undergo, they get a corresponding bead to place on a necklace or bracelet. So, today he got a green sphere for the IV (contrast), a small smiling sun for the MRI and a cat for the CT scan. What a neat idea. It's those little things like that that help take a kids mind off of some things... ya know? Very cool. He did GREAT today!!!