Monday, February 11, 2008

Another week

Steve begins his second week of chemotherapy tonight. He's still doing well with the Temodar, with no obvious side effects.

Today was his first blood draw related to the chemo. The lab results will indicate how well his blood is reacting to the medicine. We're especially praying for high platelet counts. If his counts have dropped significantly in the first week, they'll most likely have to pull him off the Temodar.

He can now see just one of everything when looking to the left and to the front a few feet. The double vision on the right remains. But he's feeling stable enough to go without his eye patch almost all day.

After his radiation therapy tomorrow, we'll visit with the radiation oncology doctors again. We're going to ask about slightly dropping the level of Decadron he's taking. The steroid side effects are mounting -- a rash on his abdomen and back, bumpy skin on his face, which is swollen. And that's just what we can see.

Aunt Ami is here for the week, taking care of all of us, which allows me some time to catch up on work projects, run some errands, maybe even see a movie with Steve this week!

Many of you have asked about Katie and Cooper. They are both handling the changes and uncertainty in their own ways. Katie is fascinated by Steve's scars on his head. She calls the stiches he had after the biopsy "healings" and often talks about how the doctors took the healings away. She likes to rub his head and asks almost every day, "Daddy, how are you feeling?"

Cooper, on the other hand, wants to know nothing about Steve's illness. It's his own way of coping, and we've been assured by a trusted play therapist who knows Cooper well that that's OK. If he asks questions, we answer them simply and truthfully. But he hasn't asked in a long time. He gets skittish when Steve and I talk about doctor's appointments, worried that maybe we won't be home when he wakes up in the morning (a casualty of us being gone for three out of six weeks in December and January). We don't hide the fact that Steve has many doctor's appointments. When we talk about them, though, we're careful to specify how long the appointment is expected to last and emphasize that we're not leaving the Dallas area.

I visited with the play therapist today. The appointment was a great comfort to me. She reminded me that children who grow up with no adversity, who never face challenges, often have trouble as adults coping with real life. Those who are forced to deal with illness, loss, financial hardship, other issues, often fare better. They're better prepared for grown-up challenges. She also reminded me that children who are loved and cared for have a sense of security that stays with them for life.


Chitnis and Chahal said...

Great to hear about no side effects related to Temodar and radiation, hope platelet counts stay strong, THEY WILL!

Yeah, steroid side effects certainly can be bad, I could tell right away when I saw Steve the other weekend.

I have to agree about your statement about kids and facing adversity. Juhee was 20 months old when Katrina hit, all her toys in her play room were gone. She went from a 3000 square feet beautiful house to a 300 square foot apartment and later similar size trailor. With lot of love and hugs and kisses from parents, she had a relatively fair transition. Although she couldn't verbalize, we could tell from her demeanor that she was different. But two and half years later, she is definitely a sensible child for a 4 year old. She demands very little and is happy with whatever you give her. She seems to have regard for things and knows to treat everyone and everything with respect. Tyra, you are a great mom and your kids will be like you, strong, brave and determined.
Don't forget the statement, "child is the father of man"! They will surprise you.

With love and best wishes,

Shilpa, Rahul, Juhee

Juhee sends a special hug to Katie.

Shannon said...

Praying for high platelets!!!!

Laura said...

I think you and Steve can take great comfort in knowing that Katie and Cooper have the most incredible, loving parents. That alone will get them through any challenge they'll face in the next 5 years but also in the next 30. They are blessed to have you both.

DayleShockley said...

Praying for good news.