Chemotherapy for Keira

Well. This day did not go as I expected.

I was nervous for chemotherapy to start mainly because of the upcoming side effects but really didn’t know what chemotherapy itself entailed. And I ended up finding it, thankfully, very anticlimactic. They put the syrgine of Busulfan in the machine and in it went to her IV over the course of 3 hours. She didn’t notice a thing and that was that. Major relief!

The blood draws to follow, however, were a completely different story.

We have now been through SEVEN failed attempts to place an IV in one of her arms.

First, let me share the point of this. While they could easily draw blood from her central line, since that is where they had to run the Busulfan through they needed another vein or entry point to draw blood for the following regular checks to ensure the Busulfan was doing what it was supposed to in her system. Pulling it from the same line the Busulfan went in wouldn’t provide accurate numbers.

So, a team of 3 nurses came in to place the IV in her arm. On the third attempt by the same nurse she got it but then looked away for a second and let Keira’s arm go; allowing her to bend her arm WITH the IV needle in it. My jaw dropped. I wanted to faint. After getting the bleeding to stop she immediately tried again to no avail. I was furious. They could barely speak English and all left the room without saying a word.

One of them came back with a new nurse a few minutes later, letting me know they would need to try again. To which I was able to explain it would NOT be done by the same nurse who did the first 4 attempts. They agreed that was fine.

Attempt number five: three people from that team (minus the initial nurse) all made an attempt (with the same needle). No dice. I’d had enough.

Attempt number six: I, of course, had just gotten her to sleep after her traumatizing evening when the night crew came in to do the 9pm draw. I will preface this by saying I really like the night crew because Keira was so taken by them on our first night here. While they were able to get the blood they needed the line wouldn’t stay.

Because additional draws were needed at 11pm and 1am they would be back again for the next attempts.

So here Keira and I await them while she plays, laughing in her crib. THAT sound, and the end result of all this, makes the rest fade away. On to the next day…

8 thoughts on “Chemotherapy for Keira

  1. So sorry to hear about this trouble getting the line to stay in for Keira, it was wonderful that the chemo went so well, but this is so difficult, continued prayers for these nurses to succeed right away!!! Strength for you Kendra, what a long night for you both…yes, the end result will be great.. Love you Uncle Jim and Aunt Judy


  2. Kayla I am so sorry for all the trauma you and Keira have had to go through today. It is so hard to get IV’s in and keep them in tiny veins. You might inquire if the hospital has a doppler, which is a non-invasive machine that helps find veins. I’m guessing they don’t but it can’t hurt to ask. Maybe another part of the hospital has one. You all continue in our prayers! I’m praying Keira flies through the chemo without to many side effects. It’s going to be hard to watch as a mom but you aren’t alone. Keep you eyes on the prize! Hugs!


    1. Eyes on the prize indeed! We’ve got this! Good idea on the doppler! I was also going to ask about a phlebotomist but didn’t know if Italian medical teams have that specialization. Thanks so much for all the love, prayers and support!! ❤


  3. Sending prayers and love to you to stay strong – this is just as hard on you as it is precious Keira – praying that they can make progress with the IV’s love you all❤️😘❤️


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