Tolerating Chemo

Brave*Strong*Fighter
Brave*Strong*Fighter

Abbigail has gone through her third of four chemotherapy treatments for this run at the bucket.  We have been here before, in December she did four of these same treatments and we were hoping it would be enough to begin tapering her other drug treatments and begin to get our little girl back, it was not.  Since that was not the case, here we are again.  Abbigail tends to tolerate the treatment fairly well, with little to no nausea during the infusions and due to the nature of the chemo, she doesn’t lose her hair or get sick shortly after as many would assume with such treatments.  I have noticed that her last two infusions she was very irritable, uncomfortable and fatigued during treatment and as the rate increased (how fast they push chemo through her body), she began experiencing mild nausea and severe irritability.  We are blessed with the most amazing nurses who know exactly what Abbigail needs and who take the very best care of her.  I too am blessed by these nurses because without them, I may break down during the torturous moments where a mother must do the unthinkable at times. I love you ladies … you know who you are ❤

When it comes to her blood counts, Abbigail is getting very low but as expected since that is the point of what we are doing in this treatment.  If you are not familiar with what we are trying to do with all of these treatments, I can quickly and simply explain it by telling you that we are purposely killing her lymphocytes (part of her white blood cell count) because they are usually what would activate her immune system and fight infections, however in OMS patients, activating and maintaining an immune system is turning the key to further attack on the brain.  We must stop her immune system, wipe her immune system’s memory bank, and hope that as it slowly regains its fighting powers, that it doesn’t attack her brain.  So fingers crossed and prayers continue for better results this time around.  In January, post chemo, we noticed an improvement in her symptoms, however only a few weeks later we saw a significant decline once again as we moved further away from her last treatment.  It is common in OMS treatment for symptoms to relapse as you begin to taper the treatments and drugs that have kept her immune system “turned off” and so each patient’s treatment is tailored and tweaked to fit their “requirements,” often taking years before a remission is declared and a sense or “normalcy” can begin.  Abbigail will never be symptom free, however we are hopeful and optimistic that she will reach a baseline where Abbigail will not experience the dark days she does presently.

We have one more treatment scheduled for this Thursday, we are eager to have it done and hopefully enjoy an Easter weekend full of family and fun and sunshine!  She has been very tired this last week, which is different from the last round we did in December, so I am counting on some pretty low but optimistic blood counts this week.  Her OMS symptoms have not improved yet, she is still the same if not worse than she was a month ago.