An other day in the life of our courageous girl…

Well was that ever an eventful 24 hours. Just an other day in the life of the Moreaus though…some average and some not so average.

Part of the oncology lifestyle is the maintenance of a port a cath (PAC); which is a surgically implanted device that allows direct access to a patient’s artery. A PAC is used in several different types of patients however for Abbigail and most of her other cancer buddies, it is used mainly for their chemotherapy treatments, transfusions and blood draws but also for any other instance an IV would otherwise be required. Chemo is hard on the veins, muscles and skin duh! So it is better to have a direct access to the circulatory system for treatment and it is less painful as well as more reliable for treatments, especially when so frequent.

In April last year we decided to have a Port put into Abbigail because she had already gone through over 50 needle pokes in less than 6 weeks time because her veins were already weak and her IVs continually fell out, sometimes mid treatment; which is not a good thing. So we had the surgery and it went well and we referred to her port as her “bump” and she is very proud of it and protective of it.

There are many things a child can and can not do when they are sporting a bump, but that is hard to tell a two year old on steroids. The port allows for easier life at the hospital but burdens at times outside those four walls. Abbigail has never been bothered so why should I.

Her “bump” was not in perfect working order this winter and for the last month we have had to draw blood the old fashioned way which is so much torture for these little souls and then recently, mid treatment of our new course of chemo, she had an X-ray that showed her line was displaced. Meaning we could no longer use it as it was near falling out of her artery. Painful and torturous days in clinic with IVs for two weeks then Monday I got the call that we were booked for Tuesday at 8am to have the old port and line removed and new one inserted. Excitement and nerves make for one hyper mama.

Our oldest son, William, was home sick Monday and my husband was sick all night Monday so needless to say we were all bound to get it. I prayed all night and slept on the top bunk hoping to avoid the inevitable until we returned from the hospital. How great would that be, my poor daughter crying in pain awaking from anaesthetic an I’m hugging the garbage can. Somehow I managed to hold off the bug until an hour after coming home with her. Blah!

Glad that is over, and Abbigail successfully got her new port which we will use tomorrow for hopefully what will be her last chemo treatment for a while.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day…

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Decisions No Parents Plan

So here we find ourselves again debating yet an other decision that must be made quickly.  As most of you know, Abbigail has had little to no luck when it comes to accessing her veins for treatments or even blood work for that matter, and so after many requests, we had a Port-a-Cath (PAC) line surgically inserted to allow for easy and virtually pain free access to her artery for treatment and blood draw.  This was inserted in April 2012 and we were told that it can last anywhere from a couple months to even years.  Abbigail’s has officially been displaced within her body and must be removed after almost 11 months of constant use.  This will require yet an other surgery, however not too complicated of a procedure.

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Abbigail still requires two more rounds of chemo for this course of treatment, in addition to her monthly IVIg infusions that have no end date in sight so after much debate and discussion with each other, doctors, nurses, our oncology team and even Abbigail, we have decided it is best to have it removed and replaced with a new one.

This is just an other decision we have had to make on her behalf that breaks our hearts…

We have been placed on the “urgent surgeries” list, meaning we will be waiting by the phone for a call from the hospital stating that Abbigail is scheduled for surgery within 24 hours.  The last time we went though this, they called tuesday at 3pm and we had to be there at 8am the following morning.  So we hope that within the next week or so she has her new and functioning port!