Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And Chemo begins... (day 1)

We spent most of Tuesday anticipating, expecting, eagerly awaiting, and dreading for the chemotherapy to begin. There was the 24hr urine collection, blood tests, processing the prescription by the pharmacy and all the various other checks and balances done to make sure that Joshua was ready. Although I'm not so sure if anyone truly can be "ready" to have multiple toxins running through their veins, but by all medical standards, at 9:30pm Joshua was finally all set to go.

When the chemo drugs are administered the nurses are required to wear a gown, mask and gloves. Each drug comes in special protective i.v. bag, as no one wants to risk contact with the skin because it absorbs quickly. I was also instructed to wear gloves when handling Joshua's container of urine and helping him. It's quite unnerving to see the level of caution used with these medications, and yet it is the same medications being pumped through my child's veins.

Joshua was given a dose of steroids just before the first chemo drug and his reaction to the steroids was as if he drank a pot of coffee. Suddenly he was wide awake, not sleepy at all and then announced he was hungry. At home he's always liked a snack before bed, but tonight at 10pm he was eating chicken strips dipped in honey, then ice cream. The night slowly wore on as we played games, watched T.V. and my frequent trips to the bathroom to grab his urinal. With chemo the i.v. fluids are increased to help flush it through his system and his system wants to flush every hour and a half to two hours. At 1:00am he declared he was hungry, yet once again, and this time he craved graham crackers with strawberry jelly and apple juice. I couldn't believe he was still awake because I was having trouble keeping my own eyes open. Finally at 2:00am he went to sleep. It was not a restful night, though, with his frequent urination it seemed like every time I closed my eyes that it was time to get up again. I felt like I only slept in 10 minute intervals. The sun appeared on the horizon far too quickly.

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