October 7, 2009
This evening as I stroked Tanner’s head and tried to comfort her until the Zofran and Oxycodone kicked in, I looked down to see two bruises on her thighs where the Peg shots were administered and was reminded of all she has been through in this seemingly endless week.
Those long-dreaded Peg shots turned out to be just one of the many trials this week that have shed some light on why this stage of treatment is called Delayed Intensification. First, there was the pneumonia-ish illness, three days in the hospital, the Peg shots, a breathing treatment that burned her mouth and upset her terribly, the steroids and, finally, back to the clinic today for Vincristine and the nauseating Doxirubicin.
She seemed very tired this morning before going to the Clinic and had a little crying jag about having to take a bath and having to go to Clinic. She wanted me to go with her, which of course I couldn’t, but John’s Mom went with them, so she got to have her E. with her. Clinic went well and she seemed to be feeling pretty well when she got home with her steroid-inspired McDonald’s Happy Meal. But, shortly after eating, she began feeling bad and fell asleep for several hours. When she woke she felt terrible, but we were able to get her nausea under control with medication, so we did better than last time overall. She has figured out that it’s the red chemo that makes her so sick and asked why she had to take something that made her feel so bad. When I explained that we only had to take red chemo one more time, she said looked at me with her pale little face pinched in pain and said she could stand one more time… amazing.
Surprisingly, the steroids have been fairly anticlimactic. She has really handled them well, with minimal mood swings or erratic behavior. The food obsession has kicked in and she wants cheese, grease, fat and more cheese. She literally begged me for McDonald’s hash browns this morning and I found myself at Kroger at 6:30 buying Velveeta for nachos! We finished the last steroid pill this morning and are off them for the next week…. Hurray!
So, now is the really hard part… knowing that we will do it all again next week… and the week after, and the week after. This is a marathon for sure, and there is little time to regroup before the next big hill is upon you.
My poor husband wins the MVP award this week. He has been Mom, Dad, Employee and Nurse this week and has kept his sense of humor to boot. There was a point today where he looked a little like if someone asked him for one more thing little pieces of him might start falling off of him… an ear, an arm, a finger. He just looked too stretched and I felt terrible that when everything was so awful, instead of pulling my weight, I had been just another burden this week. Bronchitis is hard for me to kick and even though I feel better, I still had to lie down for the majority of the afternoon in order to stop coughing.
And, Most Valuable New Recruit goes to John’s mom who rescued us this week, for sure. She has a job and a very busy life and dropped everything in a moment’s notice to help us. I, literally, could not have done it without her. I was down for the count on Tuesday and could not have taken care of Jake that day. Thanks to her, I was able to get the rest I needed.
And, last but not least, to my friends who showed up at my door with food (you know who you are)… what can I say? We are being carried through this journey on the shoulders of those we love and who, thankfully, love us back.
Week one of DI down, seven more to go. Don’t leave us now… we’ll be needing you…