Today was the first day of the beginning of the process Ryleigh has to go through. She spent all day in the oncology/hematology clinic getting her first dose of cyclophosphamide – a chemotherapy drug that slows down the bone marrow’s production of cells. This will allow for making room so that more stem cells can be made. Ryleigh handled the whole day with a really good attitude and was quite upbeat and positive. I sense from her recent relief and calmness that she must things are starting and that she may be getting help to feel better.
The chemo medication is very hard on the kidneys and bladder. So, she needs to stay in the hospital for intravenous fluids so that she can flush it out of her.
This will be one of a few times she will receive this medication. Other side effects include nausea (which she already experiences), hair loss, mouth sores, and blood counts decrease. She will need to stay away from large crowds now and basically be isolated.
If all goes well, Ryleigh will be discharged Saturday afternoon and we can go back to our apartment. I will need to give her a needle each day of human growth factor. It helps create more stem cells as well as gets them into the blood stream. On the 13th of January she will be admitted so that she can have her stem cells harvested – this may take a couple of days. After that we are not sure what is happening as we have not talked with her hematologist about specific dates for the transplant. We were told it was going to be soon after her harvest – but now not sure of exact dates.
After a day of treatment – Ryleigh was very relaxed and wanted something to eat:
“A sub, doritos, and a sprite – this is the best day ever. Okay – it does not take much to make me happy!” Ryleigh’s enthusiastic quote after I arrived with one of her favourite (not the most nutritious but at least she is eating something)meals.
It is now 11:00 pm. We are in a very tiny room – no space for a cot for me. I will be sleeping sitting up – but helping Ryleigh make her way to the bathroom every few hours. She is also starting to feel very nauseous – another long night….good thing I have some experience at this kind of thing. Until next time….