Round Three has Begun!
Sorry for the lapse in posting. It's been a busy couple of days between Ethan's chickenpox and packing for the hospital...
We arrived at the hospital late last night and settled in. Chemo started around 3:00 a.m., and both medicines were finished by around 6:00 a.m. This will be the routine for three days, then there will be one medicine on day 4. Each day, following the early morning chemo infusions, Ellie will be given large amounts of fluids to flush out the drugs. This morning she had a hearing test to establish a baseline for comparison, as one of these drugs will almost certainly cause a decrease in her hearing. Supposedly the hearing that Ellie will loose is in the higher ranges and they say she shouldn't miss it or be much effected by it...I suppose it's kind of like loosing the sight in one eye...at least she has another one... Sorry, I'm really not intending to sound sarcastic - I'm incredibly sleep deprived right now, and just have that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach that permanent things are happening. I'm not really discouraged, just sobered at the thought of first vision loss, then hearing, and then there's the fact that her heart will need to be monitored for the rest of her life because of the chemo, and the hope that her kidneys will make it through... It's a hard pill to swallow that the very thing that is supposed to save her life is destroying pieces of her body (of course the vision loss was the cancer's doing). As of this morning, Ellie is experiencing some nausea, but she has kept everything down. I've discovered that Ellie is very good at knowing exactly what her body needs at times like this, so we try to give her the things that sound good to her and so far it seems to be working. She is also on a couple of medications for nausea, so everything is kept at a dull roar. The biggest trick for the day is going to be getting her oral antibiotic in. (She has to take an antibiotic twice a day on every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to keep her from getting a certain kind of pneumonia.)
On a lighter note...Ellie was able to go with her Daddy and Papi (John's dad) to watch the space shuttle go up on Saturday night. (Because of Ethan's chickenpox, Pat and I watched the launch with him on TV, but we were able to run outside and see it above the house off in the distance.) Stan, John and Ellie went out on Thursday night, but the launch was scrubbed. Saturday went beautifully! The last night launch from Cape Canaveral was when Ellie was four and I was pregnant with Ethan. We went to that one as well. We have taken both kids to daytime launches, but there is nothing like seing a night launch. Ellie was SO excited! They went in Stan's truck, and made a comfy bed in the back (there is a camper shell on the truck) so that Ellie could stay warm while watching the launch. John caught her reaction on a video clip, so I've included it here for your enjoyment. I wasn't there, so I've watched and re-watched this clip. Seeing her pure joy and excitement brings such happiness to my heart and I hope it will do the same to yours!
I will keep you posted on how Ellie progresses through the chemo. Thanks so much for your love and prayers - they mean the world to us!