The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Fighting Blood Cancers
6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2012 11:22 AM by kimmeebee RSS

Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?

Aspark2000 Registered Users
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Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum and have really found a lot of the posts helpful. My 8 yo son was diagnosed with ALL in jan 2012. We just started DI last week. I'm also 30 weeks pregnant. Anyone else dealing with pregnancy in the midst of treatment or does anyone have advice on how to survive this?  Its all feeling very overwhelming. Thankfully my son is responding well to treatment but I'm so scared about the weeks ahead.  Thanks.

  • Re: Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?
    abslater Registered Users
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    Hi  ...I don't have any real advise to offer, except that for us, thankfully DI wasn't bad at all. My daughter (age 13) did very well throughout DI, until then end, when we ended up in-patient for 10 days due to a fever. Many kids that I know end up in-patient at the end of DI since they're immune system is just so tired by then. Of course, I wasn't pregnant, so staying at the hospital was no big deal -- but you might want to start thinking about plans of who could stay at the hospital with your son, if you're at home with a new baby ....hopefully your son won't be in the hospital, but it is very common ....wishing you all the best ... xoxo b

  • Re: Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?
    averyjmom Registered Users
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    I did experience being pregnant during DI.  I was about 4.5 months pregnant when my son was diagnosed, and unfortunately we lost that baby.  I was fortunate enough to get pregnant again right away and was about 20 weeks when my son went through DI.  He was inpatient for nearly the entire time - we spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in the hospital.  We had a week out after Thanksgiving, but went right back in and stayed until mid-January. He was 3.5 at that time.  Unfortunately, he had an extreme sensitivity to all of the chemo drugs.  I stayed with him 7X24 - working from the hospital room and it all went well.  He felt bad when we were first admitted, but after a time, he really felt better and was able to play and participate in the activities that the child life group had for all of the kids.  Although I had a great support system with my family and friends, it was important to me to be with him at all times.  But he did great and I was able to take a few hours here and there and go home and shower and feel somewhat normal.  Just hang in there - you will get through it!!

  • Re: Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?
    jenspassions Registered Users
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    I got pregnant right after DI. I was pregnant through IM2 and into LTM. As was said before DI was rough but not as bad as I thought. My daughter didn't end up in the hospital and only needed 1 transfusion. Once we hit LTM Madi had a few inpatient stays, the last one she got out of the hospital when I was 18 days from my due date. Just take things 1 day at a time...you will get through it!

  • Re: Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?
    leosmom Registered Users
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    Yes, you can definitely do this!! I was 8 months pregnant when my son started DI. We had an easy first 4 weeks and awful last 4 weeks which we spent at the hospital (luckily he is doing great now). At the hospital, everyone kept joking that I shouldn't go into labor there because nobody knows how to deliver a baby.

    My point is that you can do this whether DI is easy or hard. I have an idea of how you feel, how devastating the diagnosis must have been and how difficult it is to enjoy the new life growing inside you amidst the stress and fear. If I can do it over, I would have been more aware of the hope and beauty my unborn daughter brought to our family during the frontline treatment crisis. My favorite memory of these days was after my son turned the corner, the nights that I spent snuggling him in the tiny hospital bed with my baby snuggled inside me. Of course at the time, I had no idea how lucky I was.

    Best wishes to you, your son and growing family!

  • Re: Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?
    Aspark2000 Registered Users
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks everyone.  I'm hoping we will be as lucky and if we can just finish this phase without being hospitalized, (or as long as we can wait until the end of this phase for it to happen) I will be happy.  And thank you Leosmom for reminding me of how thankful I need to be for the growing life inside of me. I read that post yesterday while I was waiting for an ultrasound and  I feel like the timing was perfect to remind me to stop and enjoy.  Thanks also for just reminding me that no matter how hard all of this is, I can do it - just like I survived his diagnosis and that awful first week. 

  • Re: Advice on how to survive DI while pregnant?
    kimmeebee Registered Users
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    I wasn't pregnant but I did work full time and go through a divorce while Emma was in frontline treatment. It was tough!

     

    My best advice is to avoid trying to live normally during that first 8 months or so. Your house will not be as clean, your friendships will suffer and your personal appearance will take a backseat. Don't try to RSVP for events or plan vacations or anything like that. Assume you will be stuck in the house or in the hospital with nothing to do but watch TV and feed your steroidal maniac. And then if you get to do anything else you'll be ecstatic! I hate to tell anyone to be pessimistic but I think it's a good idea in this situation to be realistic and be prepared than to have unrealistic expectations.

     

     

    And the fact of the matter is, all the baby needs a place to sleep and a mama who is well-rested and emotionally present (as does your son). Let that be your goal. :-)

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