Esther's chemo went (actually is still going) pretty well today. This cycle has three drugs. The first drug she's had before, but at a much smaller volume. It was a one hour infusion, but this infusion is a 6 hour infusion. The second is just a push through her IV, it takes just a minute or two. The third drug is a 72 hour infusion. One of the side effects of this chemo is heart damage, so I am assuming they are administering it very slowly to protect her body. Ugh... She also has to take a different medicine to help her body process and get rid of the chemo so it doesn't do other damage. It's all just yuck!
She hasn't been too nauseas and just got sick once. There is a dosing issue with one of her anti-nausea meds that I need to address tomorrow. A new nurse practitioner changed the dose to half of what we've given her the entire time she's been having treatment.
Esther caught the cold the rest of our family had, so she's had two colds in the last few weeks. Because of the cold she is in isolation. This means all the staff wear gowns and masks when they come into our room and that she can't leave. Bummer because it is so nice to be able to go for a walk.
Having a two week break from time in the hospital has been nice. I am feeling a bit rusty with all of this hospital life and just exhausted. For example, I'm waiting for water. One thing about the 8th floor is that Esther can't drink the water because it's not filtered. I'm supposed to order water from room service but I forgot and now it's taking forever to arrive. She's thirsty and doesn't want to go to bed until her water is full. She needs to drink, so we wait for water...
I was struck by this verse today that we've memorized thanks to Steve Green's Hide 'Em In Your Heart CDs... Proverbs 20:11. "Even a child is known by his actions, whether his conduct is pure and right."
Esther has a witness at this hospital. The staff knows her and is eager to interact with her. Last time we were here one of the nurses took her lunch break in our room. Her nurse today said that she's heard so much about Esther that she was so excited to meet her. The infusion room nurses joked that they were going to stall moving her to the inpatient side so they can hang out with her a bit. The rounding impatient oncology doctor said she was so excited to see Esther's name on this list and had been looking forward to seeing her all day.
Esther's actions are known at this hospital. This is completely God's grace and I don't want to make it an idol or expect her to be a circus bear and perform. My prayer is that we would display God's love to the hospital staff not a performance/behavior show. God has given us a sweet little girl and it is only His doing.
Today was Thomas' last day of treatment. I think there is a video of him playing his viola, but I can't watch it in the hospital for some reason... This was encouraging. His mom, Emily, said of the beginning of their journey, " In January, September seemed like years and ages from where we were. It felt almost suffocating in its remoteness." I so understand this and it's nice to see that finish line approaching.
This also got me thinking about how hard it must be to be a health care provider for oncology patients. You get to know them so fast and intimately. You see them often, you know their families, their struggles, often their daily lives are shared with hospital staff. They know what foods you like, your favorite activities, TV shows, your favorite movies. Some oncology patients die, the rest recover. For the care providers there is a break in the relationship with every patient. I'm sure the reward of saving someone's life is great, but there must be a sting when the relationship is ended. These people care, physically and emotionally, for the patients and their families. I admire and respect them greatly.
Water's here...it's time for bed.