We are on week twenty one of Nico’s forty three week treatment protocol. We see tiny rays of light at the end of this long dark tunnel!! He completed cycle 7 last week (out of 15.) Two weeks ago he had his five day chemo which hit him harder than it had the last couple of times he’s gotten it. We think its because his body is still recovering from radiation, as well as the cold virus we all had and the fact that it just gets tougher to bounce back after every cycle of chemo. He slept a lot that week and threw up several times the little bit of food he was eating. One of those times he threw up his NG tube. Nico has adjusted extremely quickly to everything involved with getting chemo- except getting an NG tube put in. While he was undergoing radiation they were able to change out his tube (standard practice in Canada is to replace every 30 days) while he was still under sedation. But under normal circumstances they don’t sedate kids when inserting. It usually takes a couple of nurses and Nick to hold Nico down. This was also the day that Nick got a crippling migraine on our way to the hospital. He had to pull over so I could drive us the rest of the way there. Once we got to the hospital, he stayed in our vehicle, took some pain meds and tried to sleep it off but ended up puking several times instead. So with Nali in tow, Nico and I bravely went up to face the 8th floor on our own. After lots of prayers and positive affirmations reminding myself that we would make it through that day, we did. Thank you to everyone who was praying for us that day! It was a doozy on all of us. Thankfully, my sweet mother-in-law had come in two nights before for a quick visit and was able to stay home with V, so that was a huge help. And she generously agreed to stay an extra few days until Nick was back to normal. Once we got home that day, both Nico and Nick went pretty much straight to sleep. Nick was finally able to get back on his feet around 10pm. He finally felt back to normal on Thursday. Turns out we had tried a vegetarian Chinese restaurant the day before and we didn’t know they used MSG until my MIL called them after Nick had the migraine and they said they did unless you request they don’t. Now we know. So we suspect the migraine was the culmination of stress and the MSG. But overall the NG tube is a blessing. It allows us to give Nico his anti-nausea meds and provide liquid nutrition when he isn’t wanting to eat on his own. He dropped a little bit of weight this week so we are upping how much nutrition we give him via the NG.
Nico threw up once more after that but thankfully the tube stayed put. It took a couple more days and then he finally started to turn the corner and seemed to have more energy and less nausea. In fact, we actually had a really nice weekend! We were able to go to church which we hadn’t been since getting back to BC. And we took a lovely walk down to the beach after lunch. It’s a jewel of a hike right through the city- you wouldn’t even know it!
On Sunday we were able to drive back home to Lillooet for the day. The school that employs Nick had their graduation that day and so we decided to go since Nico was doing better. Nico’s favorite part (besides getting to play with his friends) was picking cherries! The school has several kinds of fruit trees across campus and the cherry trees are bursting with red, ripe cherries. Yum!
This week Nico gets a week off from chemo! Yay! He had lab work yesterday to check his counts and they looked good. We are hoping all goes well this week (no fevers!) and we are able to enjoy it before he has his overnight chemo next week. As far as his recovery from radiation, his skin looks back to normal. It has healed up beautifully. His eye, on the other hand, has been very red and watery so it is still dealing with residual irritation from the radiation. We are told this is to be expected and his eye could later go through a period of dryness as well. As for long term side effects to his eye, we are told they should be very minimal. He will most likely have cataracts much earlier than most people but that is fixable. His radiation oncologist was very reassuring that any of the long term side effects that he could potentially be facing are fixable. We are thankful and we will deal with those as they happen. For now we ask that you would pray for his eye to heal up and the redness to go away. And again, we are eternally grateful for everyone who has supported and encouraged us through your comments and prayers! On the hard days I think about how many people are praying and it brings me such comfort and peace. ❤