Friday, May 23, 2008

AM of Day -4 ; 1st chemo round

I finally get to use the computer!

We are almost 4 hours into Kevin's first round of chemo. He has 6 hours of the cisplatin through an IV and that started at 6am CT. He has had his first dosage of amifostine to which it has made him very sick and his blood pressure to suddenly drop dangerously low which is 'normal'. We did what they call flip him, put his head down and his legs up so that his blood went back to his heart. He will get another dosage of the amifostine at noon, so in just under 2 hours. I can't count how many times he has thrown up so far. I just feel horrible for him. As for me, doing this to him is heartbreaking. I think I have been really tough through most of this but I am just struggling with the fact that my seven year little boy has to be made so sick in order to save his life. It really isn't fair that he has to go through this. When Kevin pees we are suppose to wear gloves, especially me since I am still breastfeeding Jake, because what comes out of him is toxic. It is such a tragedy that we have to feed people who are struck with cancer these toxic drugs to kill the cancer. I am aware there are other methods out there and honestly the lack of statistics about the number of remissions and 5, 10 and 20 year survival rates scared me away from looking too deep into what is considered alternative cancer treatments but I am hopeful for the future. Being here in a place where they research this daily we get to hear about the hope that they are looking for better ways. Understanding and analyzing DNA more and more to understand how different people are affected by treatment. I heard recently that they are trying to make chemo drugs that won't get the kids so sick. That would be great. I really hope a 100 years from now, that the generations after us look back and have enough understanding to think we were really crazy for doing this to people. I hope soon for the sake of those who may be affected with this terrible disease that there is something better. But for now we are here and what Kevin is getting is better than it was 10 years ago so in that I will try to find my peace.

If you are praying for Kevin please pray that his internal organs are protects but especially his hearing, bladder, kidneys, mouth, nerves and brain are protected. That this treatment gets all of the cancer cells and doesn't cause a secondary cancer ever in him. Also that he doesn't get any fevers or infections over the next 5 months and that his ANC blood counts recover fast. Thank you so much for your prayers and support of Kevin and the rest of us as we navigate the storm of childhood cancer.

Today, from what we have heard from other parents, doctors and nurses this is suppose to be the worst day through this whole thing for him. Hopefully he is able to sleep through most of it.

Eric did night shift last night (he is still here in his PJ's) and I came in this morning and Mike will come later this afternoon and trade me Scotty and Jake to take my place then Eric will come back for the night shift again.

Kevin is the first patient to stay in room #10 on the second floor of the Chili Care Center. His room is a orangy bright yellow. I will take pictures later today and post them.

I have noticed Kevin's angry outburst were less once Scotty came. I think sometimes we as adults underestimate the importance of siblings to help a child get through this.

I hope it gets warm in Michigan for those who are there! I will try to send a little of this Memphis heat back home with Mike in a couple of weeks. It has been close to 90 degrees almost everyday this past week. I hear the summer spiders are just as bad as the heat around here. Does anyone know of any particular dangerous spiders around here we should we aware of. It was pointed out to me we are the same distance from the equator as Africa earlier this week.

Take Care!
Rachel

5 comments:

The Aldie Herrs said...

We love you guys and are thinking of you and praying for you all. Give Kevin a big hug and kiss from Uncle Nic, Aunt Kelly and Dylan

Kathy said...

The first round of chemo was so horrible for Steven that I didn't know how he could do it again, but like I told you, things were easier for the subsequent cycles for him.

Every child is different.

While he is so miserable, if you haven't done it yet maybe give benadryl a try for nausea-- it would usually knock Steven out. Also phenergan, that will also cause extreme drowsiness.

Poor Kevin, praying that by Sunday things will be better. Cyclophosphamide was much easier for Steven than the cisplatin/amifostine, but get ready for "the runs".

Laura said...

I can't imagine how hard these next couple of days are going to be on all of you, but your in the best place possible and you have so many people to lean on and that are praying for you...praying for strength and courage. Kevin is one the strongest kids I know, he always has been. We're thinking about you all and praying everyday.
love,
Laura and Alex

grandmother debbie and aaron said...

I understand there were some in your family line which survived more than a century in Tennessee, spiders and all. You will find the same type of spiders in Tennessee as in Michigan.
I would watch the sweat bees though; I have heard some stories about them from someone who was visiting their grandma’s farm. If they can take the yanks firing on Nashville, you won’t mind the spiders. Kevin comes from sturdy stock.

love to Kevin
Watching his progress, and praying for the him.

Resa said...

Hey Guys! This is Resa. I was checking on Kevin - I'm sorry he is having such a rough time with this first round of chemo - I pray that the meds for nausea will kick in and make him feel better. Benadryl in combination with Ondansatron worked very well for Will. We'll be back in Memphis on the 2nd so hopefully we'll see you then.
Love you all
Resa and Will Asbell