Friday, August 7, 2009

Another Good Day

More FUN facts about proton radiation therapy:

1. Protons are injected via a vacuum tube into a linear accelerator and in a few microseconds, the energy equals 7 million volts!!

2. The energy increases to 70-250 million volts which allows the beam to enter the body at various points.

3. Protons move through a series of magnets that shape, focus and direct the beam.

4. At maximum energy, a proton beam travels 125,000 miles per second (or 2/3 the speed of light)!!!

5. From the Hydrogen canister to the patient, a proton travels 313,000 miles!!!

And we thought the trip from Virginia to Houston was far!

Another good day. Today started out early because of our check-in at the clinic with Dr. Wolff. He is very happy with her progress so we are down to 1x/week checking in with the radiation oncologist and 1x/week checking in with the the oncologist. Plus the daily proton treatments. We will discuss further chemo next week and he is going to begin working on her plan for when we leave and go back to MCV.

The hair just keeps falling out but in typical Charlotte fashion, it doesn't seem to bother her. She was really hungry when we got out of radiation today so we stopped at MDA for a snack (cheetos and apple juice) and then headed back to RMH. I cleaned our room and did some laundry and Charlotte was actually pretty social today.

My friend Kim sent her a farm animal lacing set and she is LOVING it. A good replacement for those shoelaces. Her OT practice is going very well and today she spent a LOT of time lacing and unlacing the horse and the pig. The other kids were really interested in what she was doing too and we had a bunch of the RMH kids working on their fine motor skills. I'll just hang out a shingle and open a clinic here.

The evening was fun because the University of Miami Alumni
Association (Houston Chapter) hosted an ice cream social for the kids here at RMH. Got to meet some fellow 'Canes (none of whom went to school during mine or Roger's tenure). Lots of recent grads. Charlotte ate a LOT of ice cream (chocolate in a pink cone with sprinkles!! and she socialized with everyone.

By the way, she keeps telling everyone "I have two boyfriends...Larson and Wyatt." Depending on the day, she changes who her "favorite" is. Of course, if anyone asks if she has brothers or sisters, she tells them that her two "brothers" are also Larson and Wyatt so I guess she's a little confused. I get lots of weird looks when she says she has 2 brothers but I say she's an only child. She also says she has "two girlfriends" but doesn't say their names.

She also has developed this adorable habit of getting my attention by saying "Tweet Tweet mommy!" That means she wants to tell me something. She's my baby bird!!

So we are settling in for the evening and getting ready for the family to come tomorrow. Hooray! I know she will be very happy to see Daddy and we are looking forward to the visit from Aunt B, Aunt Lynn, and Uncle Terry too.

OH! I learned a very good thing tonight: proton therapy patients get to stay at RMH for up to 60 days before having to vacate so we won't have to worry about appealing for more time or finding another place to stay. I also talked to one of the other moms whose kid is getting proton radiation and she said that their last treatment was supposed to be on a Monday but they are "concentrating" his last 5 treatments so that they can finish on a Friday. I'm going to have to ask about that as her current schedule has her finishing on a Monday. It would be really nice to finish on a Friday and spend the weekend packing up for home...

Lots to do and must rest too (hey, that rhymes).

Happy weekend, y'all!


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