So after a pretty awesome weekend filled with friends, family, button-making and (on Monday after school) card making…the world came crashing down again.
Ana was scheduled for her inpatient infusion therapy yesterday, which meant another overnight hospital stay. This is the hard stuff – the complete VAC (vincristine + dactinomycin + cyclophosphamide). So there was THAT looming over her, but then right before bed on Monday she tried to brush her hair and she couldn’t get a brush through it because so much had come out. It was tangling around itself. She panicked and I tried to help untangle it, but the more I brushed, the more hair came out.
I think she lost half a head of hair in 10 minutes. By the time I was done brushing, she had lost so much hair that I had to cut about four inches off of the bottom since it was so uneven (and hair was still coming out.) I managed to get it smooth and into a (loose) pony tail. We were both crying. We were both covered in hair. Ana was also afraid of the hospital trip and the chemo and that, combined with her now imminent hair loss was too much. She cried and cried and cried.
She stayed up with us until about 11 and then I let Ana sleep in my room, but she and I were up half the night talking (Jim went downstairs). I think it eased her mind and she eventually went to sleep in her room since that’s where she’s most comfortable. The ponytail was a tangle of hair in the morning, and I had to brush more and cut more, but did get it into a little braid before she left with Jim for the hospital. I stayed home to work (this was an extremely hard decision for me to make. I really, REALLY wanted to go with her).
Yesterday started out with Ana at the outpatient infusion center which is in a different building than the hospital. They did bloodwork there, then she was admitted to her bed at Westchester around 12:30 pm or so (the above picture is one she took from her hospital bed). They needed to take a urine test and begin I.V. fluids (her bladder needs constant fluid or the chemo can cause bladder ulcers), so they didn’t actually begin the chemo until 8:00 or so (just in time for the debate). She felt pretty good for a couple of hours then got a raging headache, but no nausea. She’s nauseous this morning (I’ve been texting her since 7 a.m.) and they gave her Benadryl for that.
Jim says she will be discharged this afternoon – though I’m not sure of what time. Ana asked me about her wig. She said, “I think this is the last day with my hair.” I know she’s scared. I’m scared with her. I took Emily shopping at a local store in Kingston and bought a couple of inexpensive wigs for Ana (and one for Emily). Here’s Emily modeling them:
Ana doesn’t like wigs with bangs so we found this very Blonde wig which Emily was happy to model.
Another shot of the Blonde wig with Ana’s Neff hat (Ana loves the way this looks – I emailed the pictures to her).
Just for fun.
And one for Emily which looks just as alarming in person…
Ana will be getting a much more realistic (and expensive) human hair wig within the next week or so. I’m waiting for the salon to call me back today so I can put the deposit down. I regret waiting now – there was a brief period of time when I hoped Ana wouldn’t need the wig so I held off on preordering it. Then the stylist will come to our house (he lives in Poughkeepsie) and cut it to Ana’s preference, but it should reach to her shoulder blades. He’ll also show her how to fit it so it doesn’t slip. The cheap wigs I got her seem to slide around easily so I’m not sure she’ll even be able to wear them out.
Now I’m just waiting for her to come home…again.