My baby is starting chemotherapy today. After much debating, agonizing, researching and possibly even some praying (to some sort of force or entity that watches over children), Jim and I decided to try this before committing Ana to a complete liver transplant. Dr. Hochberg has been in touch with a specialist at St Jude’s as well as a sarcoma specialist at Sloan Kettering, and both have agreed that this is a reasonable course of treatment for Ana’s tumor, considering this tumor and how it responds to anything is basically a great big mystery.
Just to clarify – I wanted to share these words of wisdom from a physician who is a friend of mine. “They are using the term “reasonable” to mean “acceptable.” There is no definite magic bullet chemo “indicated” for this problem so they are coming up with some chemo combo that should help to some degree, and maybe if you are lucky to a great degree. “Reasonable” doesn’t mean that there is something better. ”
The chemotherapy “combo” they are using is a low toxicity chemotherapy which we have been told is well-tolerated by most kids. I will post details on exactly what Ana is getting when I get that confirmation from the doctor (I had thought it was one thing, Jim thought it was another, so I don’t want to post incorrect information). Ana will continue to get steroids while she is on chemo. It does appear that the tumor is responding to the steroids (shrinking), but this is just outwardly and it may be that her abdomen is less distended because she’s been on a laxative nearly constantly.
Now is the time for prayers! I’m not religious, so my prayers are wishes sent out into the universe as energy, positive thoughts…hope…We want this tumor to respond to the chemo so that we can save Ana’s liver. If that’s too much to ask the universe, then we want Ana to get through this as comfortably as possible and then quickly get a new liver so she can begin the important process of healing. Most importantly, we want Ana home and well, as soon as possible. I know you’re all with us on this. Your support has been amazing.
So, my baby is starting chemotherapy today. I can’t believe those words are being strung together by me. They aren’t words I’m supposed to own. They’re from a bad hollywood script, or a book that’s far too dramatic, or part of someone else’s story. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s what I always thought. But bad things happen and I know I need to keep a clear head for Ana. I won’t lie. I’m mad as hell. I wish there were more answers, but I have to have to faith now – in the physicians who want to save Ana and in a power that’s greater than myself. Maybe there is a purpose for all this sorrow.