Monday, October 12, 2009
First 29 day in Delayed Intensification 2
Andy, Liz and brother Jim
Liz and Conner
Liz and Joel
Liz and Joel
Our family had an awesome weekend. Liz and her friend, Joel Brown, were elected as the Freshman Attendants. They absolutely had a ball. Something that they have had very little of in the past year; normalcy. They were just two kids that belonged.
We are now into DI2. This phase will last 60 days if she does not have any delays. The first 29 days goes like this. We started Friday, Oct 9 at 6:30 a.m. She had an LP (lumbar puncture) with Methotrexate. When Liz came around and was brought back to her room the docs wrote her orders for Vincristine and Doxorubicin, her chemo's. Are you ready? Here comes your pharmacy class.
Vincristine is one of a large group of drugs known as "antineoplastics"; these drugs are also known as cancer drugs, chemotherapy, or "chemo". They are used in the treatment of various cancers to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. A combination of different types of cancer drugs will often be used to achieve a greater effect and minimize side effects. Likely side effects are: Nausea, vomiting, loss of weight, diarrhea, rash or bloating, hair loss, reversible nerve damage, jaw pain, joint pain, body pain, vision problems, muscle weakness, low cell counts (white, red, and platelets). Rare but serious - we won't go there - just pray she does not have "rare but serious side effects." Vincristine will be given day 1,8, and 15.
Doxorubicin, a chemotharophy, must be given slowly and directly into a vein (IV). Side effects of Doxorubicin may cause damage to the heart muscle (including heart failure), bone marrow suppression, trouble breathing, swelling of the hands or feet, easy bruising or bleeding, hair loss, low cell counts (white, red, and platelets), mouth sores. One rare but serious side effect that scares me and I ask for you to pray against is a new cancer or leukemia. Doxorubicin will be given day 1, 8, and 15.
Here is one she really hates, Dexamethasone, a steroid. She said this one changes her appearance more than any other drug she takes. Side effects are: difficulty sleeping, decreased ability to fight infection, mood swings, weight gain, or the side effect called "moon face." This is where their face become very round as well as the abdomen, bleeding of the stomach, headaches etc, etc, etc. This one has so many side effects it is hard to list. Just pray, that is all I can say and ask for. Liz will take this drug day 1-7 and 15-21.
PEG-asparaginase or PEG shots. This chemo will be given on day 5. This consists of three shots given in the thigh muscle at the same time. I hate this one. Side effects are increase ammonia found in the blood, extreme tiredness, weakness, decreased blood clotting factors, severe kidney damage, fever, rapid heart rate, and on and on and on; another one that has horrible side effects but Liz has no choice but to take these drugs to survive.
I am asking for prayers for her good friend Joel Brown, who is battling ALL as well. He has been admitted to Children's this evening with a high fever. He spent last night until 4:30 a.m. in the Emergency Department and went back down tonight. His fever was 102. Please pray that he is just worn down from all the fun and excitement of being on the homecoming court and that he just needs some fluids for hydration. I ask that our Father pour his protection on Joel, Liz and all the children fighting blood cancers. We are needing prayers for Liz's protection from the flu. Mason had about 400 high school students out today from the flu. If Leukemia patients get the flu and it turns into pneumonia it is deadly. Not one pediatric patient has survived pneumonia while going through treatment with Leukemia. This is a very scary time for our family and extended families on A5 South.
Gob bless you and continue to protect you.