Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not So Easy

Yesterday Elle went to Maine Med for her round of chemo involving Doxorubicin and Cisplatin. These two chemo drugs are heavy hitters; they can make you feel awful and lay you out. They both present their own dangers if not flushed out of the system; Doxorubicin can affect your heart and Cisplatin can damage your kidneys. Both can cause some nasty vomiting. And the doxorubicin is red...the stuff just looks alien and evil in the IV bag.

So this is not going to be an easy one for Elle. There are some good things, though. First, she has a double line in her chest. That means they can give her the chemo and flush her system with an IV drip at the same time. Usually, they have to interchange between the chemo drug and the IV flush. This way, both happen at once and it keeps the levels of the two drugs from getting too high and it shortens the overall time. Second, she slept through the first part last night, so that will cut down on her overall "feeling bad time." And third, they gave her an anti-nausea medicine that is steroid-based but completely safe (believe me, I asked!) It makes her hungry and a bit moody, but really seems to be controlling her nausea.

So right now she is in her room. I left her with Beth, eating a cup of Jello and watching television. Which is about as good as she can be doing at this point. She'll be there all day and tonight to keep flushing the chemo drugs out of her system, and then she is supposed to come home tomorrow.

Reading what I wrote at the top...these two drugs are rough, but they are also very effective. Doxorubicin has been around almost 30 years and is the genesis for a new class of anthracycline antibiotic-related drugs that may be useful in cancer treatment. Cisplatin has been around almost as long and is a cornerstone drug in treating numerous types of cancer. It absolutely sucks that we have to pump this toxic stuff into Elle...but it gives her the best chance to beat this.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

As long as she beats this crap, it's gonna be sooo worth it when you can watch her make all those glorious milestones that I know are gonna be happening in the future for her! GO ELLE! YOU ROCK KIDDO!!!