Sunday, December 23, 2012

She looks like a melphalan +4

Melphalan is one of the chemo drugs Esther received and today is Esther's 4th day after transplant, +4. As our day nurse was giving report, telling our night nurse about Esther she said she "looks like a Melphalan +4." Melphalan +4 is not pretty.

Today Esther was learning the art of a pain pump and As I've thought about the severity of this treatment, how utterly horrifying it is, I am struck by the aggressive nature of Esther's cancer. How left to itself, it will cause unbearable pain, deteriorating her body and taking her life. I've never really been fearful of cancer, even up to this point, but today, I found myself coming to an understanding of how terrible it really is.

I was talking with Esther's nurse about her age and how I'm thankful she won't remember much of this. I think she will remember, but won't have memories. This is a gift to Esther. She mentioned that the memories will probably be more difficult for me. I agree. These last couple days have been hard, really hard and very ugly. Esther's body is breaking down, she would not survive without this stem cell rescue. It is horrible.

Esther is now on a pain pump with a constant level of morphine and then a button she can push as needed for a boost of extra pain killer. She is also receiving a little "blow by" oxygen. This means the oxygen is coming from a tube near her head, but not attached to any airway. She needs every bit of pain medicine.

The other night I went for a walk. I was hoping to get a burrito from Big City, but I learned it is only open until 4pm. On my way back I tripped and fell. I cut my hand and have various bruises and lesions on my shoulder, leg and knee. I feel a little beat up, but honestly, I feel like seeing Esther suffering like this has left my heart far more wounded.

Overall, she is doing what she's supposed to be doing. She is Melphalan +4. Many other kids have been there and are better now. I just have to keep looking ahead to that, they are better, this is not forever. Pray I would be soft and not just shut down. I feel like shutting down.

Pray for wisdom in Esther's pain management and for her sores to heal quickly. Pray for her blood oxygen level to remain steady. Also, Esther has spiked three fevers over the last day. This is expected, but worrisome.

As long as no one else gets sick in our family, Anthony and I will switch Tuesday morning. Pray I'd be ready to engage with the other kids, that I'd give my heart despite my own hurts and exhaustion. I need to approach the throne that has provided so much grace, help and mercy in my time of need. I am constantly working on reminding myself of truths... God is good, there is wisdom in His plan, He is readily available all the time, He will sustain.

I am at the end of myself, He is here to carry me when I can't take another step on my own. Pray I'd pour out my tears before the cross and just crawl into His arms. This prophecy, this Christmas prophecy has been my meditation today....

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6


  1. Praying for your physical wounds and exhaustion as well as your heart this morning. Oh Sam, cling to Him. He loves you so. Thank you for reminding us all where our only hope and strength are found. Merry Christmas friend!

  2. Beautifully written ... Esther, you and your family remain in my prayers. Merry Christmas Sam!

  3. Love you Sam and Esther! Praying He meets you there an for a soft heart.

  4. Many tears for you today, but even more prayers! Choosing to remember all of you as we wait expectantly for Christmas. Jesus, be Sam's Emmanuel today and draw her into your strong, tender arms. We beg you for swift healing of not only Esther's body but broken hearts as well. We are trusting you to make 'beautiful things' out of this nightmare.

  5. Mom and I are praying for you and Esther this Christmas!

  6. Sending our love and prayers to Esther and her strong, courageous mother and family. Hoping this next year brings health and healing for all of you, but especially Miss Esther. Thank you for sharing your journey as hard as it is.