3 Years Old

I don’t remember the exact specifics of how the story goes, but when I was pregnant with Kate, my mom told me a story about how when SHE was pregnant with my sister, she thought she knew how much she would love her baby and that her dad sort of patted her on the head and said…sure you do, honey. But just you wait. And then, once Jamie was born, my grandfather said to mom, “See? Now do you know?”

We all think we know, don’t we? We all think we know just how much love our hearts can hold or how awesomely prepared we are to bring a child into the world. We don’t have a freaking clue what love is until that baby cries out in the delivery room and you realize you’ve just taken your first breath right along side of theirs. Until you lock eyes with her (or him) and realize, “Oh! Oh, THIS is what I’m here to do!”

Well, Miss Kate Olivia….YOU are what I am here for. I didn’t know it until you got here three years ago, but I’ve known it wholeheartedly since. 

When you turned two, I wrote down a list of the cute words I never, ever wanted to forget. I loved how you called yourself “Tate” and asked for “bups of boof” and “didit.” I’d do the same for you at three, but you speak like a professor of paleontology. You know more than we do…about so many things. Your daddy & I watch and listen to you and wonder “where the heck did she learn that?” Little sponge, you are, my girl. We marvel at where your sense of comedic timing came from…(well, we know WHO it came from, but when? When did you turn into this person and not just a baby??)

You’ve grown with epic leaps and bounds this last year in just about every way, but there are still little snippits of my baby girl. You still LOVE your crib and I’m not certain we’ll ever be able to get you into a big girl bed. Grandma swears you will one day be potty trained, but you’re so stubborn (sooooo stubborn) that you may very well never be. To some of our friends with older kids, you will likely always be known as “baby Kate” but you are truly no longer a baby. You are a big girl now with thoughts, opinions (oh so many opinions) and plans.

You might make me a little crazy most days. (You are exactly like I’ve been told that I was at the same age…karma.) You make me laugh a thousand times a day. You make me as proud as a parent could possibly be every SECOND of every day. You are my favorite person in the world and I adore who you are. Sometimes I wish I could keep you this age forever, yet I can’t wait to watch the rest of your crazy, wild and beautiful life unfold.

Happy third birthday to the very best part of me.

My cup runneth over,

Mommy

Minutes Old

Minutes Old

First Birthday
First Birthday

 

Second Birthday

Second Birthday

Third Birthday

Third Birthday

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Nine (better late than never)

Well here we are again, sweet girl. Mommy’s late with a blog post. Before motherhood & cancer, I’ll have you know that your momma wasn’t usually ever late for ANYthing, but you might not ever catch a glimpse of that. My how times have changed!

May 15th marked our 9th month with cancer. I’m happy to report that the reason this post is late is because the milestone truly did pass this month without that sharp pain in my chest of the memories. For the first time in a LONG time, I didn’t wake up remembering just what it was like that day, or mourn the loss of your sweet innocence. We woke up…normally.

Normal means something different now, for sure. We now talk about things like tubie drinks and creamy, leg pokies and prizes. Your play time with others comes in large part at the clinic and thank GOODNESS you really love being there. We talk about pills and doctors and check ups, but now, we also talk about story time, the library, being outside, planting flowers, running errands and birthday parties. We are slowly getting into the swing of life again and are doing so with relative ease, albeit a slow start.

We’ve officially been “at” this cancer thing for longer than I was even pregnant with you, which is just crazy to me. That felt like a lifetime…treatment has felt like…well, eternity.

As the one-year anniversary comes closer into view, I find myself reflecting a lot about the girl you were and the girl you now are. I marvel at how tall you are…how skinny your legs are!! I stroke the soft hair that is starting to take shape on your sweet head and remember when I did the very same thing, holding you in my arms as a baby. Your cheeks still resemble those of the baby we diagnosed 9 months ago, but your smarts and humor remind me very much that you are a whole new kind of awesome in this little person’s body. The eyebrows may be mostly gone, but the kind and inquisitive expression behind your eyes remains.

Here we go baby girl…we’re on our way to great things. I love you, I love you, I love you.

My cup runneth over,

Mommy

Kate enjoying a cake pop on May 15th!

Kate enjoying a cake pop on May 15th!

 

 

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A Mother’s Day Dedication

 

A pregnant me with Mom on Mothers Day 2011, just before Kate was born.

A pregnant me with Mom on Mothers Day 2011, just before Kate was born.

How do you thank a mom like mine? No, really. HOW? How could I ever, ever thank her for what she’s done for me my whole life, let alone in the last 9 months? Whenever I try, she always tells me “you would do the same for Kate” and of course, she’s right, but it seems so impossible to adequately express how I love, admire and appreciate her.

Mom, you have always been my best friend. I am so proud of the relationship we have and of the bond we have with my sister. I did a lot as a younger adult to screw that up, but you never gave up on me. I tested your limits time and time again, caused you endless frustration & worry and yet, the constant forgiveness in your heart allowed me to see and realize (as I got older) that nothing I did would change how much you love me.

You gave up the opportunity to continue working out in the “real world” and instead traded work clothes for flip flops to stay at home with my baby so I could go back to work. I didn’t know how that role would evolve over the years or the extreme turns it would take, but the ways in which I rely on you now are endless.

Mom, you love my little girl as much as any grandma could. 9 months ago, when every single part of our world was destroyed, the strength you showed me so I could be at my weakest was the single greatest act of selflessness I’ve ever seen. I know how hard that must have been…maintaining your strength when we were at our lowest, meanwhile your heart breaking right along side of ours.

And now…Mike & I get all these comments about how strong we are….how lucky Kate is to have us. But really? YOU are who she is lucky to have. You take on 99.9% of the hard parts of her treatment, enduring countless hours of heartbreak watching your grandbaby suffer. No amount of thanks can cover how humbled I feel by your selfless acts each and every week.

You’ve been to almost all of Kate’s appointments. You’ve held her legs down while she screamed and cried being accessed. You’ve kissed her teary, fiery cheeks in comfort. You’ve been the bad guy to administer the meds when my anxiety forced me to walk away. You have endured countless hours of her gut-wrenching wailing over things she cannot control. You’ve unfairly become one of the two closest to me that I lash out at when the stress and sadness just become too much. And yet…you still show up the next day, again, full of forgiveness and ready to step in to help my family because of how much you love us.

I will never, ever be able to thank you for what you do each and every day, but I pray that you know. I hope that the way I raise my daughter will make you proud of who I am becoming as a mother. Every instinct I have as a mom and everything I hope to become is all because of how you’ve taught me over the years. If I have the relationship with Kate that I have with you, my entire life will be a success. I love you.  I LOVE YOU!

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National Nurses Day

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Today is National Nurses Day and even though the majority of our nurses don’t know about, much less read this blog, I wanted to post something today to share with our little world to say thank you.

They say that doctors diagnose, but nurses heal.  That could not be more truthful. We learned very early on that as fantastic as our doctor is (and she really is) it’s the nurses who we would truly come to rely on.

Who answers the panic-stricken mom’s call when your child has vomited up all of her meds and you have no idea how much she’s truly gotten? A nurse. Who takes the time to really learn about your child’s fears & likes to know how to better approach and reward them? A nurse. Who tells the mom week after week “it will get better” even if they’re only doing so to help that mom MAKE IT to next week? A nurse.

9 months ago I had many nurse friends. We had a lot of lovely nurses deliver and care for our daughter in the NICU at Inova Fairfax Hospital and…even several who saved ME a time (or two) during different stages of diabetes…um…stress. 9 months ago, I was not a cancer mom and I didn’t know what an impact nurses would have on my life. Today I know that our lives are forever changed by those who choose this profession. It takes a very, very special person to be a nurse. They are away from their families so they can heal mine and we are forever humbled and grateful for their service.

This post is dedicated to nurses everywhere. If you know one, go hug them. If one has helped you in some way, tell them. Show them the recognition they so richly deserve.

But…to the nurses at Children’s National Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders of Northern Virginia….to the nurses at the PPSU at Inova Fairfax…to the nurses on the 5th floor in the pediatric hematology/oncology wing of Inova Fairfax…thank you from every part of my heart.  Thank you for holding my hand almost as many times as you’ve held Kate’s.

 

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Maintenance…Achieved

Tomorrow is an enormous milestone for Kate and for our family. Tomorrow marks the day we will have achieved the phase of treatment we call maintenance…the LAST phase. Yes, it’s 16 months long and yes, she’ll still be at the clinic weekly.  But after that?  WE’LL BE DONE! “Maintenance” just kind of says it all, doesn’t it?  We are, in essence, maintaining her remission.

As of today, Kate has endured 8 months and 20 days of treatment and has done so with amazing grace and strength. We have been tremendously fortunate during her journey thus far. She was diagnosed early and, while she was given a high-risk classification, she was officially in remission with ZERO residual disease after 32 days. Many children don’t achieve this important step or, have too-high residual disease remaining and wind up having to repeat the grueling induction phase, sometimes also adding radiation into their treatment plan. Kate has responded to chemo very well and has been right where the doctors want her count-wise the majority of the time. She has turned into a very different child than the one diagnosed last summer. While it’s painful to realize some of the reasons behind those changes, we could never express the pride we feel in who she is becoming.

The next 16 months on her protocol will look like this:

Day 1 of each 21 day cycle will include accessing her port, a counts check followed by Vincristine & Methotrexate chemo. That night, she’ll begin 14 days of 6MP, her oral chemo. The doses of Methotrexate & 6MP will adjust according to how well she is handling each; she is currently on 120% max dose of 6MP and will be having her Methotrexate dose increased starting today, too.

Days 2-6 of each 21 day cycle will have her on Dexamethasone, her steroid, which will be 2/3 less the dose that she’s been on.

Weekly for the remaining 16 months will involve a counts check & Methotrexate chemo. There are two ways she can get this done: 1) by a finger poke CBC and a shot in her thigh OR 2) by accessing her port. She will also continue to get weekly Dapsone, an oral antibiotic. She’ll continue to take Marinol twice a day until her appetite returns (hopefully soon) since she is no longer receiving Oncaspar. She will also get spinal taps every 12 weeks to monitor said maintenance.

It really HAS to get easier, right? Theoretically, she’ll be feeling better without Oncaspar and reducing the steroids will hopefully prove to be the big improvement we’ve been praying for. Her hair will continue to grow back, she’ll have birthday parties and she will eventually even get to play with friends. She will start to live life again, develop her social skills and bounce back from this detour no one wanted to take. We will still be on guarded watch every day…making sure we stay away from fevers, infections and the like. Any of that can derail our progress and delay her treatment. September 16, 2015 is etched in stone on our minds and we really want to see to it that we stay on track.

This is far from over, but it’s also so, so far from where we started.

“Through chaos as it swirls, it’s us against the world.” ~Coldplay

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Beginnings

Today was a really big day for our Katertot and she simply wowed me from start to finish.

Usually we struggle with most of what is involved with varying degrees of frustration: we have a hard time getting the cream onto her port to numb it before leaving for the clinic and we struggle to get her to take her zofran.  We struggle with accessing her, she’s scared of chemo and we usually have challenges getting her to ‘settle’ and let the PPSU nurses get all the leads & gizmos onto her before settling in for Oncaspar, a 1 hour infusion & 1 hour observation.

Not today. Kate was a dream this morning – she only gave us half a glance about the cream and was giggling in the car ride to the clinic. She only gave Nurse S a mildly hard time while getting accessed. She played happily, chatted up Dr. D and didn’t so much as make a peep when Nurse H gave her chemo. Off to the PPSU, she was a charmer and settled in chatting up her nurses there, too. Even all through the dye study, she was happy as a clam, only really crying when her hands were restrained (who could blame her??) 3 or 4 months ago, this process would have sent her into a crazy spiral. The wheelchair ride alone would have set her of.  Today? She. Was. Awesome. I was such a proud, proud mommy.

My sister said it best on Facebook today when she said that while we still have a long way to go, the “end” of any chemo is something to celebrate. For 30 weeks Kate has had this chemo every other week. While she doesn’t react to it and it doesn’t cause nausea or anything like that, it is very likely to blame for her lack of appetite and, we suspect, for some of the overall weakness. Saying goodbye to this one is really quite a milestone for us as we head into maintenance.

We talk about “our nurses” a lot here and with Kate and really, we have two “sets.” The nurses at the clinic are tremendous and spending the mornings playing there has truly become something Kate looks forward to (once the icky parts are over.) Those people…they just have my whole heart and I’m getting choked up thinking about how much they mean to us…

Then, we have our PPSU nurses who are there with us for every sedation and Oncaspar infusion, which usually (from start to finish) takes about 4 hours. They have to observe her a lot on this chemo, so they’re in our room with her a lot of the time. We’ve gotten to know them quite well. Today, we wanted to say thank you to them in a special way because we won’t be spending any more time there except every 12 weeks for spinal taps. We got them each a small token of our thanks, coupled with an Easter basket filled with goodies & nurse-themed cake pops.

Nurse B welcomes us each and every time with the warmest heart you could imagine. She also has the prettiest hair I’ve ever seen. She told us early on that Kate would learn to love them and I scoffed. (Guess who was right?) Nurse C is one of the most thorough people ever and I always know we’re in great hands with her. She makes you feel safe. Nurse J is as sweet as they come and never, ever misses stopping by to smile and say hello to Kate. Nurse N was our nurse most of the time and had the most beautiful Russian accent. We loved getting to know her…sometimes she would sit for an hour at a time…explaining things to us, telling us all about her own children…really connecting with us as a family. And Nurse H, who is just…absolutely in the right profession. Her heart, her way with Kate…I will never, ever forget it. Whenever something seemed “off” for us, or whenever I really wanted an answer of truth, Nurses N & H were who I set off to look for. We love them all.

We truly will miss seeing them but are really happy to close this chapter of Kate’s treatment and head into a new phase. A new beginning. With (hopefully) a big appetite.

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Eight

To my dearest and most beautiful Kate,

215 days. 5, 160 hours. Eight months. Today marks 8 months since your diagnosis and we’ve hit a pretty rough patch this most recent cycle (cycle 8 of 9.) YES! I DID say 9 cycles! That was the one bright patch in this last month. We learned that consolidation didn’t have 10 cycles, but only 9, which made for quite a nice surprise last month.

Yesterday you had your spinal tap and started all your chemo again and today you “celebrate” 8 months of this fight by starting your LAST high-dose steroid pulse. We are over the moon about this, as you know.

Your appetite has taken a real hit this last cycle and without getting into too much nitty gritty, the solution was going to go something like this: remove marinol (your appetite stimulant) a few days before your steroid pulse on the slight off-chance it was somehow interacting with your steroids and causing the psychosis. (I can’t even believe I just typed that about my own, sweeter than sugar baby girl.) We’d then keep you on Ativan around the clock through your last dose of steroids this Saturday and pray you’d be yourself again enough for Easter Sunday. But, then, you went and stopped eating. As in…STOPPED. Days ago. So, while that was super helpful since your spinal tap wasn’t until noon yesterday, you still haven’t eaten anything. So, we have to bite the bullet and take the possible/probable psychosis that comes with the marinol/steroids combo and give you the stinkin’ appetite meds so you’ll eat something. Trust me when I say that dexamethasone on an empty tummy is havoc waiting to be wreaked.

There isn’t too much new to report other than counting the doses until we’re off this high dose crap (8 more as of this minute!) and saying GOOD RIDDANCE to Oncaspar, of which you have your last treatment on Monday the 21st. We’ll celebrate with some thank you gifts for our PPSU nurses. It’s amazing how much we will miss them after spending every other week with them (sometimes every week!) for so many months.

You are very, very much “almost three” but who can freaking blame you with all the nonsense we do to you these days. But, you’re getting out some more, overall feeling better and are really starting to show us you CAN cooperate when we really need you to. And, as trivial as it is, your hair is starting to come back! I’d rather you feel well than have hair, but it’s a real sign we’re beating this thing, that the chemo meds have done what they’re supposed to do and that we’re really, really making progress.

I love you so much I can hardly even tolerate it. But baby, please. Eat something?

My cup runneth over,

Mommy

Puzzles with daddy at the clinic starting off cycle 9.

Puzzles with daddy at the clinic starting off cycle 9.

PS – a side note shout out to the WONDERFUL nurses and doctors who care for you, Kate. I will spend the rest of my life telling you all about them.

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Seven

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Katertot,

Sigh. I’m late again, baby girl. I’d like to think that by NOT posting exactly on the 15th of each month, that means that we’re getting a bit more used to the craziness that is your treatment schedule and that the anniversary of that day just simply passes my memory.  That’s not at all the case…I always, always reflect on that day and what all has happened in the last seven months. I hate getting used to this, but if it means we can bring a little more normalcy to your life because of it, then so be it.

Seven months into treatment and a few things have FINALLY changed for you. Consolidation is loooong and, while we’re still in it now, it feels more like there is a real, actual light at the end of the tunnel and not just that of another oncoming train. We have no more doxorubicin anymore, having replaced that every-three-week infusion with weekly methotrexate instead. That’s still an awfully big mouthful of a name for a chemical being fed into your tubey, but it seems to be a bit less toxic on you. You really only get one or two doses of zofran (to be proactive) and by the next day you’re pretty much back to normal. Your ANCs have been great and you’re really doing quite well. Steroids still remain the ever-present thorn in our side. After this last pulse, I knew we had to seek out some additional relief for you and it has come to us by way of Ativan. You had it in the hospital with great success (none of us will ever forget the night when, after not talking for days, you sat straight up and saw Grandad’s gumbo and said “ooooh Grandad, what you eatin’?”) We’re all counting down the days to maintenance (May 27th!) so those steroid doses drop by 2/3!

We are getting out more – letting you stretch your legs a bit at story time at the library, which you’ve always loved. We’re even planning a birthday party for you in June and you’re going to get visits all summer from family. First from the Florida family in June followed by the Nebraska family in August. We have a lot to look forward to, doodle bug.

I remain in constant awe of you and your strength. You don’t know any different, but I do, and I’m so proud to be your mommy. 7 months ago, I don’t think I could ever have imagined being here…with your eyebrows and hair slooooowly starting to reappear, maintenance in close sight and hearing things like “this is your last dose of XXX” or “soon you’ll have your last XXX.” We’ve come a long way, baby, and I love you beyond measure.

My cup runneth over,

Mommy

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Six

Oh my sweet Katie girl,

It’s been six months since your diagnosis and we are in the middle of cycle 6 of consolidation.  This one is particularly ugly so I thought I’d lighten the mood and tell you a little bit about the finer points of what we’ve learned over the last six months.

1.  Swallowing pills, even if they get stuck on your tongue because you refuse to drink enough to get them DOWN and they taste icky, is still way better than crushing them up and putting them in ANYthing.  Like…a billion times better.

2.  You far prefer to be accessed in your port than have your finger poked for a CBC.  This one is sad as hell to witness but hilarious nonetheless.  You have the strength of 10 men trying to pull your hand away from the lab tech, but when they do get a BandAid on your finger, you hold your hand limp-wristed the entire day and refuse to even attempt to use that hand until the BandAid is removed.

3.  Steroids are what make you hate having a bath.  So, the anti-bath movement only lasts a few days, which is very fortunate for us all.

4.  Given your current (and recent) steroid food cravings, I have learned to bake & re-heat the perfect cinnamon roll.  (Pilsbury…NOT generic brand…baked at 325 degrees for exactly 14 minutes.  Don’t add the icing until right before you’re ready to serve each one, then microwave for 12 seconds for those wondering.)  I’ve also learned how to make & serve the perfect hot dog.  Don’t be jealous moms…not everyone can feed their kids these amazingly healthy options like me.

5.  Schnoozie time (a.k.a. nap time) or night-night time, when requested by you, means NOW.  It is not a suggestion and not a “when you get around to taking me” but NOW.

6.  Through everything you have been through, you still are one remarkable little girl and being your mommy is the single greatest gift I’ve ever been given in my life.

My cup runneth over,

Mommy

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A Glimpse Into the Life…

When my co-worker asked what kinds of medications Kate got this week during her two days at the PPSU (pediatric, post-sedation unit) I started counting out exactly what all she had endured and I was a little overwhelmed.  Nothing is different this cycle, but it’s the first time I’ve really taken stock of what week 1 of a cycle looks like and it’s just SO much.To give you an idea of what Kate’s week has looked like so far (any specific times provided here are not because I take good notes, but because I text my mom rapid fire so she knows what’s happening when and I can easily recall.)

A glimpse into the life of Kate, who has high-risk pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, on study with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 2.5 years old.

Monday, 2/10
Our day starts with Kate waking up just around 7:30, which is perfect…we have to leave at 8:00 to drop off Conan and get to the clinic for our 9:15 appointment.  We have to get the emla cream on her port which she HATES.  She gets accessed at the clinic (which still involves two of us, me & daddy, holding her down while the nurse pokes her in the chest with a big, long needle.)  She recovers quicker now than she used to, so it’s off to our room to wait on Dr. D.  Counts looked good today; starting cycle 6 with an ANC of just over 1400 – a large rebound from last week’s 200-something!  Dr. D. decided to back off her 6mp a bit for this cycle because she’d been falling too low in week 3.
Then, it’s off to the PPSU for her study chemo, Oncaspar.  She ordinarily would have had her regular chemo & a spinal tap today, the beginning of cycle 6, but you cannot sedate patients and give Oncaspar on the same day.  It increases the risk of reactions.We arrive at the PPSU around 10:30 where we are greeted by our awesome nurses.  Kate is hooked up to fluids, oxygen, heart & breathing monitors.  She then starts her Oncaspar right around noon.  The infusion takes an hour, then she has to stay for an hour of observation afterwards.  She’s able to eat and play and is overall a real champ.  She fell asleep for 15 minutes and was able to stay accessed because we were due back first thing the next day.

Monday’s medications: Oncaspar

Mom’s edit: I also forgot to mention that she received her weekly dose of Dapsone, an antibiotic, Monday night.  Tuesday morning, we learned that Dapsone can prevent red blood cells from collecting oxygen, so her oxygen levels were low on Tuesday, which put us on alarm. Joy.

Tuesday, 2/11
Kate woke up and must have immediately known something was “off.”  She was only allowed to have a little bit of juice and only until 8am.  (No food for 8 hours prior to sedation and only clear liquids up until 2 hours prior.)  She’s used to being greeted with milk & cheerios every morning and she was very upset not to be able to have it today.  She was WAILING…on and off for an hour as we piled (again) into the car to head to the PPSU.

8:00 – on our way – hoping to arrive by 8:30 (they can only release the chemo from the pharmacy once we physically arrive in the building, so it’s important to get there at least an hour early so we don’t wait longer than necessary)

9:00 – we are ushered back to the PPSU room (room 16, our favorite) and Kate once again gets hooked up to fluids, oxygen, heart & breathing monitors.

9:45 – staff tell us chemo is on the way up and that the anaesthesiologist will be in shortly to discuss our plan.  (We are very specific; I won’t let Kate have Ketamine; only Propofol & Fentanyl and I insist on an extended bolus to help her lay flat longer and sleep off the medication.)

10:00 – Kate has been so good so far but she’s reached the end of her patience. She starts to beg us for food & milk; she makes her nurse cry.  She gets her Zofran to help with nausea from the chemo she’s going to get AND the anesthesia itself.)10:30 – Finally some activity!  Only 30 minutes late for our 10am appointment (pretty good, actually.)10:39 – Kate gets her sleepy meds and is out.  I leave the room crying (as usual) and the spinal tap procedure begins.  After they take the spinal fluid for testing purposes (to make sure the leukemia is still in remission) they put BACK the same amount of fluid, only this time in three various types of chemo: AraC, Methotrexate and hydro-cortisone (a steroid, but in this case, considered chemo.)

11:00 – They are done and we get to go back to the room to kiss our baby.  She’s peacefully sleeping and I’m thrilled to see that the rest of her chemo has arrived so they can get started.

11:05 – Vincristine chemo starts

11:25 – Zinacard starts (protective heart medication starts)

11:35 – Kate’s LAST dose of doxorubicin starts (YAY!)

Kate wakes around 12:10 and slowly sits up, wanting a little snack.  She eats cinnamon teddy grahams and water and sends her daddy out for milk and pizza that we know she won’t eat.

We are discharged around 1:30 and head home, barf bucket in hand.  Kate has done well on this most recent formula of sedation meds and hasn’t gotten sick, but we’re ready anyway.  She asks “Mommy, what dat bucket for??” 40 times in the car ride home.  Thankfully, she is NOT sick yesterday.  SUCCESS!

It is 4:00 until she eats and then it’s a small smoothie & a few bites of pasta.  She’s drinking a lot though, which is good.

7:00 – Kate gets her first dose of 6mp for this cycle and asks to go to bed at 7:20.

Tuesday’s medications: Zofran, Fentanyl, Propofol , AraC, Methotrexate, hydro-cortisone, Vincristine, Zinacard, Doxorubicin, 6mp.

So, if you’re still with me, I’m impressed.  THANK YOU.  For those keeping track, in two days, my 2.5 year old BABY has had 7 kinds of chemo, 2 kinds of “sleepy medicine,” a protective medication for her heart and anti-nausea medication.  Today she started steroids (a well documented pain in the ass that I won’t bore you with here) and more anti-nausea medication.

This child?  She is braver than I’ve ever been about anything in my entire life.

Kate & Daddy before her spinal tap & cycle 6 on 2/11/14

Kate & Daddy before her spinal tap & cycle 6 on 2/11/14

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