Thursday, 6 June 2013

Another update ...

It occurred to me this morning that it's been quite a while since I updated. And whilst I did say I'd only update when I have something to say, and even though I have very little 'new' information to impart, I'm updating anyway because I feel like it.

Most of the previous post was written on our immediate return to England, with some subsequent updates to take care of developments in the intervening period before I pushed it out as a public post. The time in-between was spent informing those whom I didn't want learning the devastating news by reading about it on here. I also had to choose my moment to talk to Jake and Jess. Being completely frank, when I wrote that post I was utterly convinced that the next would be the last.

Whilst Adam has a growing list of issues, and it's clear to see that his disease continues on it's relentless path, the progression has been slower, and the deterioration less dramatic, than we had feared it would be. He is comfortable and has been, for the most part, without pain. For this we are ever thankful. The chest drain was removed, and we've since had no further issues with fluid accumulation in his lungs. Again this was not something that was envisaged when we transitioned to palliative care, either by ourselves or any or Adam's doctors.

Although Adam is really not up to doing a great deal now he did manage a few days out some weeks ago, including a very special trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour arranged for us by Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity. We all went along as a family, and had a lovely time. And as an extra special treat we got to hang out with Mr Draco Malfoy himself!

When we flew back from the US we did so with a 28-day supply of the drug combination that Adam had been on, minus the dasatinib that we thought might be contributing to his pleural effusions. Which left a decision to be made when the supply was exhausted. In the end we came to the conclusion that whilst Adam was comfortable, and not in pain, we wanted to continue things just as they were. Whilst withdrawing one or more of the drugs may have made no difference whatsoever, if we did so and Adam's condition changed dramatically we'd always be left wondering whether it was precipitated by our actions. Any actual cause-and-effect could never be known of course, but that wasn't a position I wanted to find myself in.

Having left it late to come to such a conclusion the only option was for me to make the 8,000 mile round-trip to Michigan to collect another 28-day supply, leaving home at 8am on Saturday and returning at 9.30am on Monday. And even then, it was only down to the tremendous support from the staff at Helen DeVos, and Julie and Craig in particular, that enabled it all to work out on a weekend when the pharmacy wasn't even open.

Because of our prevaricating about whether or not to continue, Adam was off two of his drugs for a week, and last Monday and Tuesday experienced worsening, debilitating, pain. We increased his pain-relief patch, but that only brought other problems. A week later, and back on all three drugs, he is now comfortable once more. His pain receded and we backed off his pain relief to the level it was before, and where it has been ever since we returned from the U.S.

And so that's where we're at, continuing to live day-by-day. Adam has a platelet transfusion on Mondays, blood and platelet transfusions on Thursdays, and we manage symptoms as best we are able in the meantime. We have a fantastic community team supporting us, and the out-reach team from the Marsden are available at all times, day and night. So far we have not spent any time under hospice care, preferring instead to look after Adam at home. Which is what we will continue to do for as long as it remains possible ... please continue to keep him in your thoughts and in your prayers.

1 comment:

  1. I think of Adam (and you and your family) often and I hope Adam continues to be comfortable and has many happy moments. Oh my heart goes out to all of you