Monday, March 17, 2014

$10 Clinic Day

I have no idea how many days we've visited the Alberta Children's Hospital for out patient chemo, MRIs or clinic. Often a sign that it was a good day is when we visit oncology and we don't reach the maximum parking charge of $13. Today was a good day - a $10 day. We were in and out in just over 2 hours. Unfortunately, oncology is a chaotic place, doctors are often called away or delayed, resulting in delayed appointments, etc. We can never know how long we will be there. Thankfully now we don't wait on blood test results, chemo, transfusions or pharmacy refills.

The kids are always so happy to visit the oncology clinic, go figure. As time goes on, we dread going there even more. It's so hard being reminded of the days going through Liam's treatment. The clinic rooms are the same rooms that Liam got his weekly doses of chemo. Not to mention the place we spent hours discussing the awful details of Liam's treatment.

Today was Liam's 3 month clinic visit. It is his 1 year post treatment checkup, although timing wise Jan 31 was 1 year. At his 3 month clinic, Liam gets weighed and measured. Then the doctor does a physical exam and a neurological exam. We discuss Liam's eating, fatigue and how he is doing socially and in school. As well, Dr Lucie gets Liam to do things like walk on his tip toes, walk on his heals, walk on a line. Liam still has slight dysmetria "improper measuring of distance in muscular acts". This is one of the of the side effects caused by the impact of the tumor and surgery in the cerebellum. His balance is the other area that is still improving, he can't stand on one foot for more than a couple seconds.

Dr Lucie had no more to add to the information about the MRI, it's the news we want to hear. The wording in the MRI report is something like "no new sign of residual or recurrent disease" and "stable hydrocephalus". It sounds so much better to say "ALL CLEAR"!

Liam will continue with MRIs every 3 months for another year. The MRIs are every 3 months for 2 years, because the first 2 years has the highest recurrance rate. Once 2 years is passed, we can finally breathe a little easier.

The picture is of Liam and his sister eating lunch in the exam room. The kids were too busy playing with the toys in the waiting room at the clinic to eat their lunch, so they ate while waiting for the doctor to come in.


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