Thursday, September 15, 2011
I am thrilled to report tonight that Steven is officially done with Doxorubicin and we have only one kind of chemo left (though two rounds of it). This stuff is nasty. It has immediate side effects as well as possible long term after effects (like heart damage and, rarely, leukemia). It is derived from a soil fungus. If you want to know more, you can read about it here.
Luckily, given without the Cisplatin, Steven tolerated it very well. He was really quite happy at the hospital this time around--joking around and enjoying as much free time as I would let him. I have been the slave driving mother, trying to get him to do homework, but he is having a hard time concentrating. I guess I don't blame him. Seriously, when I am there, I get nothing productive done. (With the occasional exception of getting Steven to do a little homework or physical therapy.)
He had some fun visitors this time around and collected some fun books and games. One of Steven's favorite things about the hospital is when they bring the book cart around. People donate books and then the kids can just pick whichever they like. The one he picked today he loved: George Washington, Spymaster. I think he would recommend it.
He really was in good spirits. He even started refusing the nausea meds by the second day. Here he is with a blanket turban, getting excited to go home.
All in all, this was a memorable stay. I had mixed feelings about the last drop of doxo going into Steven. In one way I am thrilled--like I said, this stuff is serious. But on the other hand, I was hit by a new wave of fear, wondering if it was enough to do it's job. As we wind down, I am beginning to understand why people feel uneasy as they finish chemo. As horrible as it sounds, it feels like we are losing a security blanket.
As we wrap this up, I feel I will almost have to rely more on faith to get by than I have in the past months. Doing something gives us a sense of purpose and drive and without chemo treatments, I'm not sure how I will cope. Will we be able to move forward and forget about the threat that hangs over us? I know I can't live on that edge-of-the-cliff place forever and will have to move on, but, man, that seems hard.
Steven has a break for over a week now, and then he will have two consecutive weeks of Methotrexate and then we are done! Despite my mixed feelings, I really can hardly wait to finish these treatments up.