Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We did not get to check out today, much to Eli’s disappointment. They just could not stabilize his electrolytes and that was keeping his heart rate low. One of the chemo drugs is rough on his kidneys so they are not working right. His body is disposing of all the supplementing they are doing. He is peeing it all out. The damage should be temporary immediately, but may cause problems when he is an adult. They want to keep him until the electrolytes are stable and until they can see that his body has taken over. This should raise his heart rate, which hasn’t seemed to change from the shunt reprogramming. The doctor seemed cautious but not worried. He said that they just need to support his body as it repairs itself from the chemo. His heart rate was up late this afternoon, then I took him off the monitor for a lap around the floor, for a bath, and for a dressing change. I just had to ask the nurse to put new leads on him so he could be hooked back up, so I’m hoping to see it stay up. But, he looks good, he ate some, and, though he was in a grumpy mood, it wasn’t near the tantrum throwing of previous days. We also enjoyed looking at all the postcards and letters he has gotten lately from people and church classes. Everybody is going such cool places for vacations; we had fun talking about them. But the coolest by far were from a little town called Athens, Alabama. There is just something special about that place. He also got a ton load of fridge clips to put them up on our naked Whirpool at Target House, so that was fun. Lastly, he got another care package from Auburn. Members of the Athletic Department, and Auburn teams, and some individual athletes, and Aubie, too, sent him some fun stuff and very cool personal postcards from Auburn. So, we had some fun distractions for today. I guess this round of chemo was kind of a wake-up call as to what we are really dealing with, which is not a common cold. Eli is receiving high-dose chemo because of the aggressive nature of the tumor and because of where his tumors are located – in his brian. A leukemia patient has cancer of the blood and traditionally receives low-dose chemo over a longer period of time. Using a line, or port, that is a direct feed into a major artery, the chemo hits the intended target as soon as it is injected. But, with Eli, the situation is different. God made our bodies’ natural instinct to protect our brains – the control center. So, when this poison is injected, the body fights to get rid of it before it can reach the brain. So, a high dose is given because by the time the drug travels through the blood and all the organs fighting to protect the brain, it is diluted from its original toxicity. So, all those organs along the way take big hits for the team. This chemo protocol is given in a short period of time for Eli’s tumor type because it is a highly aggressive form and can’t be given any ground to grow. So, it has to be hit hard and quick to be beat down. We hope and cross our fingers that we go home on Thursday. My picture tonight is of Eli disappointed that we can’t go home, but also notice the web of all the lines attached to him in the foreground. And, don’t judge me. His daddy packed his bag and dressed him. I had to work with what I had.
We did not get to check out today, much to Eli’s disappointment. They just could not stabilize his electrolytes and that was keeping his heart rate low. One of the chemo drugs is rough on his kidneys so they are not working right. His body is disposing of all the supplementing they are doing. He is peeing it all out. The damage should be temporary immediately, but may cause problems when he is an adult. They want to keep him until the electrolytes are stable and until they can see that his body has taken over. This should raise his heart rate, which hasn’t seemed to change from the shunt reprogramming. The doctor seemed cautious but not worried. He said that they just need to support his body as it repairs itself from the chemo. His heart rate was up late this afternoon, then I took him off the monitor for a lap around the floor, for a bath, and for a dressing change. I just had to ask the nurse to put new leads on him so he could be hooked back up, so I’m hoping to see it stay up. But, he looks good, he ate some, and, though he was in a grumpy mood, it wasn’t near the tantrum throwing of previous days. We also enjoyed looking at all the postcards and letters he has gotten lately from people and church classes. Everybody is going such cool places for vacations; we had fun talking about them. But the coolest by far were from a little town called Athens, Alabama. There is just something special about that place. He also got a ton load of fridge clips to put them up on our naked Whirpool at Target House, so that was fun. Lastly, he got another care package from Auburn. Members of the Athletic Department, and Auburn teams, and some individual athletes, and Aubie, too, sent him some fun stuff and very cool personal postcards from Auburn. So, we had some fun distractions for today. I guess this round of chemo was kind of a wake-up call as to what we are really dealing with, which is not a common cold. Eli is receiving high-dose chemo because of the aggressive nature of the tumor and because of where his tumors are located – in his brian. A leukemia patient has cancer of the blood and traditionally receives low-dose chemo over a longer period of time. Using a line, or port, that is a direct feed into a major artery, the chemo hits the intended target as soon as it is injected. But, with Eli, the situation is different. God made our bodies’ natural instinct to protect our brains – the control center. So, when this poison is injected, the body fights to get rid of it before it can reach the brain. So, a high dose is given because by the time the drug travels through the blood and all the organs fighting to protect the brain, it is diluted from its original toxicity. So, all those organs along the way take big hits for the team. This chemo protocol is given in a short period of time for Eli’s tumor type because it is a highly aggressive form and can’t be given any ground to grow. So, it has to be hit hard and quick to be beat down. We hope and cross our fingers that we go home on Thursday. My picture tonight is of Eli disappointed that we can’t go home, but also notice the web of all the lines attached to him in the foreground. And, don’t judge me. His daddy packed his bag and dressed him. I had to work with what I had.

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