Saturday, April 9, 2016

Induction - Day 4

I'm sure this comes as no surprise, but this is hard. 

The past 24 hours have been very difficult for Ellie.

Today is Day 4.

Today she received another chemo treatment. It is a peg drug. That means a lot of things that I do not quite understand yet, except that it was likely that she could have had an allergic reaction to it. She did not, and made it through beautifully, thank you Lord! 

What I am learning though, is that chemo is not necessarily the hardest part. (It very well may be down the road, but right now it seems to be easy.) Right now, her difficulties lie with the constant monitoring and sheer amount of medicines that she is taking. I counted how many medicines she has to take this morning. Seven. This little girl had to take seven different medicines, just this morning. And to be honest, she's been amazing. She will even do some of them all by herself. 

Ellie's morning cocktail of drugs.

But then, there's the steroid. It's throwing everything off. Not only does it taste disgusting, but she's already started showing side effects, particularly mood swings. The steroids are what will make this first month so hard on her. She does not receive chemo every day, but she does receive steroids every day. She seems to do great in the morning, but by the afternoon her mood completely shifts and she is miserable. Nothing calms her down until she falls asleep. And even then, it tends to be fitful sleep.

Her numbers have not improved too much, but that's to be expected. As the leukemia is being killed off, so are her good cells. She received platelets yesterday, and then blood today. Her doctors seem very happy with her progress so far. The one that I met with today said that "her trend is up," so she is doing well with the treatment. I read enough Lurlene McDaniel books as a child to know that it might get worse before it gets better. It is hard to see her in this pain and overall discomfort right now, but I know that it is all a part of the process. 

There is so much more that I want to say, but don't have the strength to write right now. If you have texted or emailed me but have not heard back from me, I'm sorry. Trust that I have read every single word of what you have written, but I just do not have the mental and emotional energy to respond right now. 

The response of love and kindness that we have received from family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers has been overwhelming. Thank you. Your prayers, thoughtfulness and love is felt and very much appreciated. 

Please continue to pray for Ellie's complete and permanent healing.

Pray that she does not experience any more side effects and that the mood swings will subside. 

Pray for complete strength for Mike and myself.

Pray for Eva and Nora. 

(From previous day)
Sleeping peacefully after a couple of rough nights.

(From previous day)
This is her preferred way to sleep. Especially at night.

When I wasn't looking, she had fun coloring on her face, which scared the nurses!
She loved getting her own, real, stethoscope.

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