That's where we are today - Two more days until La Petite Belle's stem cell transplant.
It has been rough since Friday.
No one can really prepare you for what aggressive chemotherapy can do to your body. Worse yet, what it can do to your child's body.
I have pretty much withdrawn from my computer and been focusing on her. She needs us constantly.
There has been nausea, vomiting, headaches, chills, and overall fatigue like you can't imagine. After only an hour into this dose of chemo on Friday, my baby girl started feeling the side effects. Beau and I had to literally carry her to the bathroom. She was unable to walk. By the end of the evening, she had spiked a fever. The fever is pretty typical and they treat it with heavy doses of antibiotics. She had a reaction to one of the antibiotics and broke out with a rash that they then had to treat with more Benadryl. She was covered petechiae from violent vomiting because her platelets were so low. Long story short ... it has been rough for the last few days.
Le Petite Belle told me she just "didn't feel like herself at all" at one point. She has a hard time describing to me exactly how she feels besides just "not herself" or "not good."
I've had to wash her hair (yes, she still has it ... hair loss doesn't usually occur until a week or so after transplant) and bathe her. She can't really do much for herself.
The first day was definitely the worst. She was extremely pale, almost a gray color, and she was lifeless. It was a very emotional day for Beau and me, seeing our daughter like this.
Like I said, you can read about it and people can tell you about it, but you just never know it until you experience it. Everyone responds differently.
The second day of chemo, she pretty much slept the entire day due to some pretty strong medications to stop nausea and vomiting. They knocked her out. I was thankful for that. She had said some time ago that she wished she could just sleep through this whole thing. It'd be nice to sleep for a few months and then when you wake up, you're totally healed and healthy. That's probably how I would want it too.
This actually sits above her bed:
I truly believe this. God has something great in store for this girl.
She says now she doesn't even remember the first couple of days. I'm thankful for that too.
Yesterday was the first day that she really ate something since Friday morning. She has no appetite and is very sensitive to smells so doesn't allow them to bring her food tray in the room. She hasn't even eaten anything from the trays since Thursday.
She's being pumped with so much fluid that she's on a strong diuretic. They gave her over two gallons of fluid in a day just to flush out her chemo, so we are back and forth to the bathroom all day and night. She's on too many different medications to even mention.
But, today is her last day of chemo. Thank you, Jesus!
Now ... I know we still have a long way to go, but glad that this part is behind us and we're onto the next part. It's just pushing us closer and closer to her healing.
The effects of the chemo will not end when the chemo is over, but will probably be felt up to weeks afterward, like the hair loss I mentioned. The number one concern is mouth sores and we are doing everything we can to prevent them. The mouth sores can be very painful, where patients can't eat or talk. They will give pain meds, of course, if this occurs, but I am praying that this doesn't become an issue for La Petite Belle. If you could add that to your prayers for her, that'd be great!
Tomorrow will be a rest day before the big day when she gets her new cells.
We are all so anxious and ready for that! K Belle is flying in to be with us on Wednesday too. It's going to great to have our whole family here.
I continue to thank God every day for the favor He's given us through this process. I thank Him for this hospital, our doctors and nurses, and this wonderful donor. I also thank Him for all of you who have and continue to be a part of this story by your prayers and support. We remain extremely grateful and humbled.
The next time I post, my girl will have gotten her precious gift. The nurse says she will be pretty heavily medicated that day, but I'm hoping to be able to get a bit of video of this special day.
Until then ... thanks again for lifting her up in prayer.
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com/Katieg. All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses. Thank you for your prayers and support!