Lorelei received the Neulasta injection today which is the last step (the fifth day) of the RICE chemo process. This was Lorelei's second round of RICE chemo and she certainly hopes it will be her last! Her nausea has been much better managed this time thanks to the addition of some medications which were missing last time (and likely much prayer.) Nevertheless, she is very tired, weak and sore. Her doctor will draw blood for lab work on Thursday to determine if she'll need a blood transfusion on Friday; it is likely. Her hemoglobin level is hanging pretty low; if it drops below 8 they will need to transfuse.
That's as far out as the plan goes.
It's the frustrating thing about battling cancer. Reality rarely matches the plan--everything is one-step-at-a-time. The ultimate goal is to rid Lorelei's body of cancer well enough so it never comes back. The odds of this are 50% if we can get her through a stem cell transplant. Those odds will go even higher when we add radiation to the mix after the SCT. But first she needs to recover from this round of RICE chemo. We don't even know if we'll be using her own stem cells or those of a donor--another bone marrow biopsy needs to happen before that is determined. So, lots will happen in the next three to four weeks.
We're taking it one day at a time.
Today Lorelei wanted to eat. Specifically, she asked for french fries from Lake Hefner Golf Course. So, that's what she got! We are grateful she will eat something so we aren't picky about it's health value. Besides, she's not allowed to eat fresh fruit or vegetables when she's neutropenic. So this is the one time in her life when I can feed her "bad" foods and not feel guilty about it. (Fresh fruits and vegetables carry naturally occurring bacteria and viruses even when washed. Her body does not have the ability to handle these like a person who is not neutropenic. Everything has to be fully cooked.)
Life goes on in the rest of the family.
Hannah has begun her teaching job at Washington University in St. Louis. She's working on her masters degree with a plan to eventually get her doctorate and become a college professor. We miss her like crazy but are grateful for the ability to Skype and/or Face Time.
Gretchen lives in her own place, but comes over often to help me with housework and taking care of the Yorkies. If you visit and the floor is not dirty, you have Gretchen to thank.
Our son-in-law Anthony (stationed with the Navy in San Diego with our daughter Mimi and our two grandkids) has been promoted to Chief. His pinning ceremony is scheduled for September 14 and Kevin and I intend to be there. Lorelei insists we go. I am reluctant to leave for these few days but I know there are many others who will care for Lorelei in our absence. Please pray that Kevin and I will relax and enjoy the short time away. It should be very soon after we return that Lorelei checks in to OU Medical for the transplant. Pray also that we will be protected from any new viruses while we travel. We don't want to bring those back to Lorelei. We love Anthony and Mimi and want to celebrate this big milestone in Anthony's career.
Dustin and Miles depart for pre-mobilization training with the Army on October 6. Lorelei should be in the middle of her hospitalization for the transplant about this time. That will be difficult for all involved. Lorelei is very close to her brothers (Dustin by birth and Miles by "grafting") and they adore her. Hopefully they will enjoy a few days of leave after the transplant and before they have to move on to Fort Hood and then to Afghanistan. They'll be gone for about a year.
This stage of life would have been busy enough with six kids; throw cancer into the mix and it becomes nearly unmanageable! Thankfully, our God meets us exactly at that point when we are most aware of our own inadequacy.
Proverbs 16:9 - The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Phillipians 4:19 - And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ.
Posted on Mon, August 27, 2012
by Andrea Decker