Tuesday, January 3, 2012
ANYWAY. HAPPY 2012!! Can you believe it? I can't. Man, what a year. I'll have to be honest, I can't even remember much prior to June 24, 2011: Alaina's diagnosis. 6 months....SWOOOSH. Went by so quick. And both her, and baby Anderson, have been growing, growing, growing! Averie has sort of stopped for the moment. Which is fine by me!
As for Alaina's treatment, she is now a quarter into her newest phase called Delayed Intensification. So....what this means is, the week of Christmas, she began steroids. We were concerned on what our Christmas would end up like, because we were use to the "Alaina on steroids for a month" back during her first month of treatment. Surprisingly, though, she did great. She was obviously not herself. And it reminded me of that first month-to-two months of treatment when I thought she was depressed....I think the steroids just make her feel off, so it was a bit sad because she wasn't her boisterous, happy-go-lucky self Christmas morning with all the toys, etc. But, she also wasn't a raging almost-3-year-old either. She didn't beat anyone up! I don't even think her sister....though I am pretty sure they had some good fights. Nothing out of the norm, though. Her appetite, however, was a huge change. The girl can EAT.
Back to her treatment...the first week, which was the week of Christmas, she began her steroids, got a spinal tap with 2 chemos and a diff. steroid, and 3 other chemos....2 which were new. Vinecristine, our old friend, she gets weekly. It causes a droopy eye sometimes, and joint pain/aches. The two new ones are: Doxerubicine...which I think causes nausau because the first week she complained badly about her "mouth". At first we thought it was jaw pain from the vinecristine, or maybe acid reflux from the steroids, but finally I asked, "does it feel like you have to burp up? (her term for throwing up)" She nodded, so I gave her zofran. As long as I keep her with zofran and Visteril (I'm butchering these words with spelling) for two days after getting the chemo, she seems fine. I try not to do so much visteril if she seems ok because it makes her very sleepy. The last new chemo is Erwinia. Erwinia Aspareginaise is the replacement to PEG-Aspariginaise. The PEG was what she was deathly allergic to back in the fall when she had an anaphalactic reaction. The difference is PEG is long lasting...stays in the system.....Erwinia does not, so we have to go 6 times to the clinic (a one hour infusion via IV and then an hour wait for reactions) versus the one time with the PEG. Which also means we're at the clinic a lot again because we go 3 times every week to get this, with one of those days the day she gets her other chemos. Erwinia isn't suppose to cause vomitting/queesiness, but it does with Alaina, as we found out the first day...a few hours later she threw up, poor thing :( Our first experience with chemo and vomiting since her anaphalactic reaction to the PEG. She was NOT a happy camper that day.
Then we were off a week from the steroids. All of those chemo and the steroids were one week (of Christmas), then off a week except for the chemos, which was last week. And now starting tomorrow, she is on steroids again for a week. She's a big girl about taking them, though. She use to take the liquid which supposidly tastes like hell but worse, so I thought since she takes her zofran in pill form with sugar and water I could do the same with her steroids. She doesn't fuss as much, but it still must be bitter.
The next half of this phase is 20ish days, requires 2 spinal taps, another 6 visits for Erwinia in the end, a new oral chemo we give by mouth every night at home, Cyclophosphamede once, which is an 8 hour process at the clinic, some familiar chemos, and then ARAC, which is another familiar chemo, but one she'd had the first 4 months of her treatment....and the one I think caused her hair to fall out. So....I'm nervous about that. Her hair has grown so much, every day there looks to be more!
So, now that I'm done writing a novel about her treatment, I'm happy to say we had a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends, and I hope you did as well. I was asked a question in a new year survey about whether or not I am richer or poorer versus the last year....I had to answer richer, but not by monetary means. I've made some very good friends, before and during this craziness that is cancer. I'm so very, very blessed. I have to say....God really must love me!! He's given me so many wonderful people in my life, and my amazing family as well.
I know there was more I wanted to share...there always is....but I also know people don't care to read my novel-length posts...so I'll jot down my notes and save them for my next post....assuming it isn't 2 months way!
Shine On in 2012!