Thursday, November 8, 2012

something to pray for

I thought I would post a list of the side effects that the chemo drugs Noah is currently on can cause. Then we can request specific prayer for those things.

Drug: Dexamethasone
Side Effects: moodiness, extreme irritability to rage. Increased appetite and food obsessions. Increased thirst, indigestion, weight gain, fluid retention. Round face and protruding belly, sleeplessness, nightmares, nervousness, restlessness, hyperactivity. Loss of potassium, loss of bone mass. Hypersensitivity to lights, sound and motion. Decreased or blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, sweating, weakness, muscle cramps or pain, swelling of feet and lower legs, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and hallucinations.

Drug: Ondansetron
Side Effects: headache, diarrhea, constipation

Drug: Vincristine
Side Effects: severe constipation, pain in jaw/face/back/joints/bones. Foot drop, numbness/tingling or pain in fingers or toes. Extreme weakness and loss of muscle mass. Drooping eyelids, hair loss, pain blisters and skin loss. Headaches, dizziness, seizures, paralysis.

Drug: Doxorubicin
Side Effects: low blood counts which may increase the risk of infection or bleeding and cause weakness, fatigue and paleness. Nausea and vomiting, hair loss, mouth sores. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, heart damage, shortness of breath, fever and chills, abdominal pain, dark or bloody stools, darkening or ridging of nails.

Drug: Asparaginase
Side Effects: Loss of appetite and weight, fatigue, headaches, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Allergic reaction, jaundice, confusion or hallucinations, convulsions, swelling of feet or legs, frequent urination, high blood pressure, kidney or liver damage, stroke, inflammation of the pancreas, excessive bleeding, blood clots.

Drug: Septra
Side Effects: stomach upset, skin rashes, sun sensitivity, low blood counts.

These are all the drugs that Noah is currently on. Below is a quote from the cancer book the hospital gave us. Its from a parent of a child with leukemia. It explains very well what I experience daily.

"Sometimes I would feel incredible waves of absolute terror wash over me. The kind of fear that causes your breathing to become difficult and your heart to beat faster. While I would be consciously aware of what was happening, there was nothing I could do to stop it. It's happened sometimes very late at night, when I'm lying in bed, staring off into the darkness. It's so intense that for a brief moment, I try to comfort myself by thinking that it can't be real, because it's just too horrible. During those moments, these thoughts only offer a second or two of comfort. Then I become aware of just how wide my eyes are opened in the darkness."

It's so hard to write exactly how I am feeling. To know that we have to inject his little body with these drugs that cause these horrible effects. To know that the alternative is surely death. People will say to me all the time that I am so strong and doing a good job. That if anyone could handle this, it would be me. But the truth is that anyone can do this. I have no choice. This is our life. There is no alternative. You would do the same. I'm just a mom of a child with cancer trying to survive it too.

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