Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cummulative Effects

One of the effects of chemotherapy is the more cycles administered the worse it can be. It can be increasingly nauseating, increasingly exhausting, and increasingly more difficult to recover in between cycles. Of course, I must add the ever present caveat: It is always different for each person. But in William's case, this effect is beginning to manifest itself.

The chemo began Tuesday night around 10 PM, so William slept through the first 10 hours. Sort of. We had brief awake moments every 2 hours to record outputs. When he woke up this morning, I looked at him and asked if he would like some breakfast. He quietly shook is head, paused, and had the glazed look in his eye that tells me he is trying to figure what isn't right. He seemed pale. I persisted and asked if he wanted juice or water because I feel helpless if I'm not trying to provide some sort of nutrition or comfort. Comfort was what was needed. He whispered he didn't feel well, I grabbed the pink bucket and voila! He vomited. He had nothing in his stomach so he kept gagging and gagging and gasping for air, tearing up, and whispering that he couldn't breathe. I felt helpless. I just sat there and stroked his arm and held the bucket, trying to whisper words of comfort. I have no idea what words can comfort that! The nurses warned us in the beginning that there would be times when he would be in pain and/or sick and we would feel helpless like this. It's rotten and it stinks and it's not fair. The chemo has just sucked the sparkle right out of him in a matter of hours.

Dr. Lee came by on rounds a while later and assured me that this is normal and expected for him at this stage and not to worry about making him eat or drink anything. He seriously said that to this Get-every-possible-calorie-down-him Mom. William is receiving I.V. fluids, but no nutrition because both ports are needed to administer the chemo. The nurses gave him Benedryl and Reglan in between Zofran and that helped him sleep all afternoon and through the nausea. My brother, Matt, relieved me at the hospital so I could be home to pick the boys up from school and go to soccer practices. This was a nice treat in our effort to keep life as normal as possible for the rest of the boys. We know this won't always be possible in the very near future, but we'll try as long as we can. Besides, Uncle Matt brings some sparkle back to William. He's the fun uncle (and single!) and William would much rather spend the afternoon and evening with him than me. (I'm completely un-offended.)

Matt, and my sister, Natalie, have been amazing. The boys have loved them and they have been completely capable. I love seeing my boys build such great relationships with their aunts and uncles!

Thanks for the responses to my Blogger issues. I'll try the quick fix tonight and the permanent fix tomorrow when I have the energy to think. Right now I'm going to try to savor the moments I have to sleep in my own bed. (Ryan's on hospital night duty tonight).


  1. What? No picture of Matt after all that hype?

  2. i'm sorry to hear about how yucky he felt and how helpless you felt. you are in our prayers!

  3. Oh, Julie, it must be so hard to feel utterly helpless. William is so lucky to have you there comforting him, even though you can't take his pain or discomfort away. He needs you for support just as much as anything else. I feel helpless, too, (but at a much, much smaller scale, I am sure) so if my services are ever required/wanted/helpful, I am here for you! How blessed we are to have a loving Father in Heaven and Savior who are there for us, too...especially during the hard times when we need an extra boost. Much love to all of you!! xoxo

  4. Brings tears to grandma's eyes, since he was so sparkling when we left. But go-go-go medicinal effects of chemo! I have faith that Will will respond again to the IV nutrition, time and love he's responded to in the past. Hugs to you all-

  5. I -too- have tears running down my face. Again today. But this time for your sweet child and not mine! We had dr. Results today. And being a parent truly sucks on these helpless days. I am sorry you guys have to experience this. Wish we were closer to "lean on". Love you tons.