Monday, April 6, 2009

The Next Round Begins

Elle is back at Maine Med today with Beth for her next round of chemotherapy. We've moved onto the second round of treatment now with the VAC. VAC stands for Vincristine, Dactinomycin (or Actinomycin-D) and Cyclophosphamide. She needs to go to Maine Med for these and stay overnight. The reason being that while the time it takes to deliver the chems is relatively short, they cannot be allowed to settle in your system because of their toxicity. So she has to be hooked up to an IV and then flush the chems out through vigorous and constant urination.

The latter two chems are heavy hitters; Cyclophosphamide in particular is rough. Many people don't suffer from the side effects or have minor ones, but some of them including vomiting, diarrhea, darkening of the nails and skin, tiredness and joint pain. And, of course, the major side effect is that Cyclophosphamide can cause cancer in and of itself. The irony of using a potential cancer-causing agent to kill cancer hasn't been lost on Beth or myself.

But Elle has been so strong through all of this. Here she is at the hospital today waiting for her chemo to begin. Beth took the photo.

I know for a fact I wouldn't be smiling facing a round of chemo. The girl is tough as iron.

More tomorrow after I talk to Beth on the phone.


Michelle H said...

That's my girl!!!! love you
Elle and hope to see you soon!!!


Miss Karrie said...

Hi Elle, This is Miss Karrie from the Crayon Academy! We love you and miss you. You keep up the good work and we will see you when you feel better! I check out your website with the kids from the red room and yellow room. They like to hear about how you are doing, and miss you just as much as the teachers do! We love you! Stay Strong. Miss Karrie & Friends

Kathy Gallant said...

What a beautiful little girl!