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Childhood Cancer, Children's Hospital Colorado, Inpatient Cancer Treatment

Settling In

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Singing and playing legos. Happy as can be.

We are settling in. Chloe’s body has uploaded the capacity to handle this new concentration of chemo. She woke up Wednesday morning (the day after my last post) looking and feeling much more like herself. She is pretty much feeling great, with minimal to almost no nausea. Her appetite is almost nonexistent, but that is totally normal under these circumstances. I am amazed at her ability to handle this! Not just on the physical level but also mentally and emotionally. She remains truly happy. She generally spikes a fever in the evenings, with the exception of last evening. So maybe tonight she will remain fever free as well. We shall see!

As for me, I spent 2 nights in the windowless sleep room and was grateful to have some uninterrupted sleep. It was very odd waking up in a dark room. I could have easily slept the day away, as my body was being tricked into thinking it was endless night. Last night I was able to get to McHouse for the dinner that they serve, even though I was not officially a guest there yet. It was bittersweet being there, because I was flooded of memories of my whole family being there together last round. The 2nd floor kitchen, in particular, reminded me of Jordan. He enjoys McHouse so very much, and being there makes me miss him terribly, as if I can still feel a trace of his presence there. Anyhow, I was really struggling with not yet having a room, after 5 days of being away from home. Not ten minutes after I returned to hospital from dinner, they called me to tell me I had a room. Finally!!! Chloe was not happy with the fact that my sleeping plans changed at the last minute, but I left her just after 8:00 and she was eating a burger, fries, and veggies. After she kissed me goodbye a hundred times, I beamed at her from her room’s doorway, “I love you buttercup!”, and she beamed it right back at me, word for word, her sentiment matching mine, exactly.

The very act of finally getting to unpack my car and make some organizational sense of my life in my own private space was very grounding. I am finally feeling settled in to being back here. (Well, almost. I forgot to buy coffee to have at McHouse). What a difference it makes to know that there is a place I can go to get away from the hospital for a while. (And, thankfully, my room is on the quiet, non-highway side of the building!) With each round I am having less and less desire or tolerance for spending my nights in hospital. I’m so much better off sleeping outside of that hospital room. I tell Chloe that if I don’t get a good night’s sleep, then I get grumpy and when I’m tired I can’t take very good care of her. She has memor20150404_151559ized this and loves to tell it to the nurses! I know she doesn’t like saying goodbye to me when I leave for the evening, but the truth is she does just fine without me, and she actually goes to sleep much easier when I’m not in the room with her.

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Birthday cake number 2, gifted by hospital staff. This was the only piece she enjoyed. After that, chemo started and her appetite went away.

In other recent news, Chloe turned eight last Sunday. She celebrated with cupcakes with her class at school last Friday, and we held a small party at the house with close friends on Saturday. Her birthday was Easter morning, but by noon we were on the road for Denver, so that day didn’t feel (to either of us) much like her actual birthday. We were surprised on Monday morning by the nurses (and an oncologist who stepped in to sing) at the outpatient clinic who sang Happy Birthday to her just minutes after she woke up from her sedation. They had a delicious cake (from a real bakery) for her as well. So even though she didn’t get to celebrate much on her actual birthday, she did enjoy 3 different birthday celebrations.

Here are some photos from our last week.

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Happiness is…. having a yard full of your friends’ kids and the fact that you could be home for your 8 year-old’s birthday.

We’re hanging in there! Only 2 more doses of the heavy chemo left. She will finish at 3am tomorrow morning (early Saturday morning).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Stephanie is a chiropractor, writer, mom, and wife who lives and plays in Durango, Colorado. Her passion is empowering people to discover their truth and express optimum health.

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