Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

One of the side effects of Vincristine is constipation. This has been drilled into our heads by everyone at Duke. Do NOT let the child get constipated. There is a special place in purgatory reserved for those of us who allow this to happen.

Well...we went two full days allowing this to happen. Not that we weren't trying to push the medication and high-fiber foods, but Eve wasn't having any of it. Saturday morning, she decided she wasn't going to take any medicine. I tried sneaking it into juice. Chocolate milk. Pudding. Applesauce. No way, no how was she eating any of this. Perhaps she was suspicious of all the new treats we were plying her with? We tried holding her down and pouring it into her mouth...she would just gurgle with it like it was Listerine and spit it back out in our faces. (Which was NOT fresh like Listerine.)

Fortunately, we found something called MiraLax which is supposedly tasteless and clear, that dissolves into any beverage of your choice. I'm not sure why we did not purchase this days ago, as this is truly the only way we could outsmart a two-year-old. We also decided to feed Eve copious amounts of sugar-free candy, which contains sorbitol (the laxative of diabetics).

The only part of the plan we didn't think all the way through was that Eve would be so full of stuff, that she would throw it all up on Saturday night. Twice. Thank goodness we were caught up on laundry (on account of the grandmas!) and had extra sets of sheets. (Natalie slept through both episodes of vomitting and the santizing that followed.)

Sunday finally rolled around and the three adults in the house literally did a happy dance (and Matt uttered a "Praise Jesus!") when Eve did what she needed to do. The rest of Sunday was pleasant since she felt a lot better, and she even scarfed down a large plate of salad (ruffage!!!) at dinner.

This morning we took Eve to the pediatrician to have her blood pressure checked. It was 96/58, much, much lower than the readings she was getting in the hospital. The oncologists wanted us to get this checked today to make sure that she wouldn't be overmedicated with the Lisinopril (blood pressure medicine) if her BP was normal. This could be a sign that the chemotherapy has shrunk the tumor enough where it isn't putting as much pressure on the renal artery (which is causing the secondary hypertension).

The good nurses at the pediatrician's office also showed us the proper way to hold down a two-year-old and force medicine down her throat. This came in handy because she needs to take an antibiotic twice a day, three times a week, to prevent a certain kind of pneumonia. Eve can certainly scream loud enough to make you want to give up, but my mom, Matt, and I held her down and gave her the medicine. Can you believe it takes three of us to do this?

I took Eve to a friend's house where she was photographed in some of her birthday tutus. I wanted to make sure to get some pictures of her pig tails before her hair falls out. We were told to expect that 2-3 weeks after the start of chemotherapy, over the course of 2-3 days.

After the photo session, I took Eve to get her first haircut. She sat perfectly still as she got most of her hair cut off. (The support nurse at Duke recommended we get her hair cut short before the hair falls out, as it may be less traumatic for Eve and her siblings.) She's cute as a button- in fact she looks like a little pixie with her new hairdo!

I'm happy to report that she's snug as a bug in a rug right now. She's got quite a strong spirit! We go back to Duke for chemo and an appointment with nephrologists on Friday. We are beyond blessed with the outpouring of support we have received from our friends. Here's hoping for an uneventful week!


  1. Well here's hoping her hair doesn't fall out at all! Joshua went all the way through his vincristine/doxo/d-act chemo regime, 9 months worht, and his hair never even thinned out! So it is not an absolute certainty! But just in case I highly recommend getting a stash of princess temporary tattoos, it is a lot of fun to adhere those bad boys to a bald head and siblings love to help with that! If you are going to be bald, you might as well be festive!

    Here's to uneventful weeks!

  2. So far she's got some hair that cannot be pulled out...I think it will all be gone in the next 2 weeks, after the second round of dox and d-act have time to kick in!