Well, we finally had a great day! I got to talk to my daughter today for hours. She was super for most of the day. For the first time since we have been home, she actually walked around the house without holding anyone’s hand or using her cane.
For hours, we each lay on a twin bed in her room giggling, talking, reading, crafting, making a Father’s Day card for John, and, of course, eating. It was like a slumber party during the day. She actually asked me to read to her several different times and declared “Chemo to the Rescue” her favorite book. She and I were up most of the night before with stomach problems and just general steroid-induced sleeplessness. I’ve missed her so much, I didn’t want the day to end. We’re hoping for another good day tomorrow before chemo on Tuesday.
We have 8 days left of this first stage of treatment. It probably would be daunting for Tanner to understand how much is left, but I’m going to privately celebrate any milestone I can. Not this Tuesday, but next, is our last day of “Induction.” Tanner’s chemo treatment will have four phases: Induction, Consolidation, Delayed Intensification and Maintenance. The first three phases are varying degrees of intense therapy and will last 6-9 months, depending upon how Tanner responds and what, if any, delays we experience due to infections, low blood counts, etc. The last phase, maintenance, lasts years and is much less intense. It will be just monthly chemo treatments and is when most kids’ hair begins to grow back and they can resume normal activities like school.
The end of this induction phase also marks our last day of this intense steroid treatment. The steroids return later, but never for 28 straight days. So many of her most annoying side effects are, I believe, due to the steroids right now. Abdominal cramps, her bloated face and stomach, her mood swings and crazy appetitie, sleeplessness. Even Tanner knows how many days of steroids are left and we are counting the days on the calendar.
Here’s to another good day tomorrow.