The second cycle of chemo is underway. Logan had the first drug last night (or more accurately, today at midnight), and seemed to do okay with it overall. Adam said he was up quite a bit needing to use the restroom and threw up once. But he was reasonably cheerful this morning and was sitting by the window watching for BART trains when I arrived. Adam mentioned in an email he sent before I'd left this morning that Logan very sweetly asked when I'd be coming, and it melted me. I was a puddle. For real. Okay, well, not really, of course, but I was touched: He wanted me. He's been a daddy's boy of late, so I was thrilled to just be wanted.
I'd call my watch this afternoon 'okay'. My shift started with our first-ever eye-patching experience and Logan was NOT amused. He screamed and screamed like I was trying to remove his fingernails one by one with rusty nail clippers, and initially refused to even open the non-covered eye to watch his TV show. I finally told him that if he didn't settle down, I was going to have to leave, and it made an impression: He sat in relative -- and decidedly begrudging -- silence for the next 45 minutes watching Tiny Toons through a squinty, weaker eye while munching carrot sticks. I felt awful about it all -- about threatening to leave if he didn't comply, about having to make him wear the eye patch in the first place -- but he really does need to do it. He's started ignoring his right eye completely since it doesn't track properly, and we don't want to hurt his vision long-term. We heard 'can't he be patched later?' at least three times today from different nurses and staff members, but nope: If it's not done now, the damage could be permanent. So we'll deal. My poor little guy. On the bright side, I watched him watching TV and noted that it did seem to track a little better when it didn't have his left eye to do the work. And even after he was un-patched, his right eye moved a little better. At least, I think it did. It can be hard to tell. And since we so badly (so, so badly) want to see improvement with his eye since it's our one semi-visible window to the tumor, so to speak, it's easy to try to be hopeful and see progress that may or may not really be present.
Anyway, he moved back over to the window at one point and we played a game of Disney Yahtzee -- his current favorite; it's too bad they don't make Cars Yahtzee (I checked) -- and built some Cooties, and then he wanted to get back into bed. He complained that his tummy hurt (because yes, it's still a problem. STILL) and I managed to convince him to eat some grapes -- cut up, of course -- and some Goldfish crackers along with some water. To this day I believe his mysterious tummy pain is associated with not eating enough, needing to use the potty, and in some cases, the meds' side effects. He had some Benadryl and Reglan and fell asleep at about 3:45 -- which was good, since he was up at 6 AM -- but woke up crying and miserable at roughly 4:45. He turned to me and moaned between sobs "I want to be all done" and it just killed me. I hate cancer. It's that kind of thing that makes this mama bear want to attack.
As far as the tummy complaints go, the oncology doc on this week -- the one I call The Fonz -- asked a GI doc to take a look at him for us since it's such an ongoing issue, and said doc suggested he try Maalox. The afternoon nurse (Ernesto) tried to give it to him, and was successful... but then Logan threw it all up about 30 seconds later. Sigh. We both were of the impression that Logan ejected the liquid on purpose, since he hadn't wanted it to begin with, but there's not much we can do about it. He's learned to make himself throw up, and I can't say I blame him: It's one tiny thing that he can actually control. If he doesn't want to eat or drink something, he'll just gack and heave until he vomits, and he wins. Or at least I'm guessing that's how he views it. I just hope he knows we're on his team.
I should also note before I forget that we have an MRI date to check the tumor: October 26. If all goes on schedule this round, it may also be the first day of his third round of chemo. It's good to have something on the calendar, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it. Nervous is an understatement, really. I'm viewing that date as something of a crucial game-changer; the day that we find out if the treatment is working or not. It's such a scary, scary thing to face. As the date approaches, I'm not even sure how I'll deal. I know -- because I've already asked -- that Philippa will deliver the results to us when she gets them, and honestly, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have doing it. (I mean, she's very friendly and she always calls me 'my friend', and it's silly, but I feel like in a way, she IS our friend.) But still... the magnitude. It's just huge.
So as for prayer requests, I have a few. Of course, as always, complete healing for Logan! I still know it could happen. I believe it could happen. I want it to happen so much that I can't breathe thinking about it when I wake up in the middle of the night. I miss having my family together; I miss mundane life. I can't even express how much I miss it and how much I wish I could wave a wand and get it back again. I also ask for energy, energy, energy for myself and for Adam, and well as patience. We're rapidly moving toward the phase of treatment when things get really hard: Essentially, the last day of the drugs and the days following. I know Logan will be cranky, in pain, sad, and generally unpleasant for about a week, and it was SO hard to handle last time, so incredibly and unfathomably draining. I'm not a patient person, so I'll need a lot of help with this. Of course, if you like, you could also pray for milder side effects this go-round; given that chemo builds up over time and the effects typically get worse and not better, I'm sure it would surprise the heck out of the doctors if Logan fared better this time! (But of course, he can't do so well that we miss the stem cell harvest window again!) Finally, prayers for Abby and Isaac to feel important and valued. It's incredibly hard to balance all of this, and I don't want them to feel like afterthoughts or as if they're less important than Logan.
Thank you for your continued prayers. Blessings to you.