Tomorrow we are going in early for Ezra to have a lumbar puncture (aka a spinal tap). Usually when doctors perform LP’s they are only going in to collect a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample. With Ezra they not only collect a sample but also inject chemo in the form of Intrathecal Methotrexate. It is given to prevent leukemia cells from entering into the brain and spine. At Ezra’s diagnosis he did not yet have any leukemia cells in his brain or spine…a very good thing.
This is what the needles look like that go in to Ezra’s spine…scary, I know. The needle is inserted between the lumbar vertebrae L3/L4 or L4/L5 and pushed in until there is a "give" that indicates the needle is past the dura mater. Like this.
Ezra has had at least 4-5 of these done already, and he will have many more to come. We go in and they give him a drug called Versed which makes him all silly. Then they wheel him away and he is put under for the procedure because of his age, for adults you just get a local anesthetic.
They come and get me after he is out, and still has not yet woken from the anesthesia. He wakes up pissed off, hungry , and thirsty (not allowed to eat or drink before hand). So I come armed with snacks, and juice. Once they are sure he is awake and well, we are sent on our happy way.
It doesn’t get any easier seeing your child lying there unconscious and helpless….
All in the day of a kid with Cancer.