Thursday, August 16, 2012

With only about four eye lashes left, the length really shows.
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat.  I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
I am a fan of Theodor Geisel’s work in the world of children’s literature. Of course, the rhythmic meter of the quote quickly gives away the author as Dr. Seuss, which is his most famous, but not his only, pen name. Seuss is his middle name which is his mother’s maiden name (So much for the privacy question of his facebook account). I think I could do some damage with a bat as a weapon. By far, my favorite aspect of softball was hitting. It was always such a bother that the rules ruined the euphoric nature of hitting with the running bases thing. Not only did I have to pound my less-than-gazelle-like stoutness down a dusty baseline, but I had to react immediately upon impact robbing myself of watching the beauty to which I had just given flight… well, not every time, but at least 3 for 4, or 2 for 4, maybe even just 1 for 4, but still how much more precious it was to catch a glimpse of it, right? I’ve liked both nurse practitioners that we’ve had on the floor during Eli’s treatments, but the one we have again this round used the term “stay ahead of the ballgame.” Now, she’s talking my language in more ways than one. Of course, it seems like Eli throws us a new pitch with each day, something we haven’t seen or prepared for, but that’s why she holds the bat and I hold the barf bags.
This is Eli prepared to begin the first day of his fourth course.
So, the first day of the last course, known as Day Minus Four, is in the books for Eli Williams. Like every single… I’m not saying this lightly… every single child here, Eli has endured today heroically. It has gone as smoothly as the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster of the old Opryland USA theme park in Nashville, Tennessee. Today we got what we expected when we got on this ride with no twists or turns or hills or valleys that were not expected or ready to be handled. He has slept a lot today, something I do not remember him doing on the first day of the other courses, so I’m pretending like that’s a good sign that he is comfortable enough to sleep. His chemistry numbers are beginning to move around a little requiring some supplementing, and his temperature began creeping up right on time, so our ride will continue with antibiotics as the cultures need time to grow. This is when it gets hairy for this shiny headed chemo kid because he has allergic reactions to all the antibiotics so far. So, again, the night it comes. Tomorrow, chemo will just be the hour, then the rest of the day dealing with the aftermath. I’m not sure that I’ve ever completely outlined what he gets, maybe I did early on, I can’t remember. I’ve had a handful of people ask me about it, so I thought maybe it would be useful or at least mildly interesting to list. He is treated with four chemo meds, and one rescue med. I could find out the doses, I guess, but it’s easier to say “high.” On Day Minus Four he receives Cisplatin via IV over a six hour period. This dose was cut in half for this round to prevent further hearing loss. Over the entire treatment of Cisplatin that is a 12 percent decrease. During the six hours on this day, he receives a “push” – which is when the nurse hand pushes from a syringe into his line. It only takes a few minutes and is pretty intense for him. This is also how they do stem cells, and it is a little rough – of Amifostine and of Vincristine. This happens at the beginning of the Cisplatin delivery, then again three hours later. One of those decreases his calcium level, so he receives calcium according to the loss. On Day Minus Three, he gets an hour of Cyclophosphamide via an IV along with a rescue drug called Mesna. Cyclo is rough on the urinary process and the Mesna is used to protect the bladder and kidneys. This is when we begin the urinating every two hours for 24 hours to keep him emptied out. This is repeated on Day Minus Two. Day Minus One is a Day of “rest” and Day Minus Zero he receives his stem cell transplant and goes home. So far Day Minus Zero has never ended with us back at Target House. On Day Plus Six, he receives another dose of Vincristine out-patient. During all of this he receives two or three nausea meds, tylenol for temperature, a stomach acid medicine, mouthwash, ear drops, betadine baths, bottom cream, and then any antibiotics, sometimes multiple, that the cultures determine he needs, or that they think he  might need, and benadryl to thwart the affects of the antibiotics. As his electrolytes get out of sorts, he receives any supplementing needed to offset that. So, that’s what my seven-year-old is doing this week instead of putting stickers on an attendance chart or digging his cleats out from the bottom of the family shoe shelf. I have added a page to this site that is a Prayer List of children’s names who are fighting cancer. Sadly, I’m losing count, so I thought I could keep up with it this way and anyone else who wanted to keep a prayer list could refer to it, or compare your own list to it. It’s just the first names and nothing more because this world is mean, but God through inspired writers tells us in Luke 12: 7, “Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered: don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows,” so He will know for whom you are praying. There are many such lists that most of you probably already subscribe to, but persistency is a key to an effective prayer, so it can’t hurt to have these children held up many times over.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.