Monday, November 29, 2010

She Really Does Have Cancer

I've jokingly wondered if anyone thinks we're making it all up since Julia's body is handling the treatments so well and she's showing practically no signs of side effects (as indicated in the above picture). She's tired more easily and has less of an appetite, but otherwise her normal self. I can at least prove she had a major surgery though since she finally got her bandage off today after it had been slowly peeling for about a week. I'll make you click the link to look at her scar (and radiation markings) just in case you would rather not see it. Here it is. It was longer than we expected, but the scar was less noticeable than we had thought it would be.

Today was another doubler. We arrived right on time for radiation at 8:00 in St. Paul. After waiting for nearly thirty minutes we found out that the radiation machine was broken. We waited a little while longer and then were told it might be awhile still, so we headed to Minneapolis, late for the 9:00 appointment. Afterward we headed back to St. Paul, not knowing if the machine was fixed or not. Luckily it was and everything went smoothly. I used my daily dose of cynicism by asking Amanda if we should really be putting our daughter into a radiation machine that breaks down.

Now we only have two more days of radiation! And these last three appointments (including today's) are focused directly on her kidney and drainage site rather than her entire abdomen - so that made us really happy.

After talking it over with the nurse and oncologist we decided to make better use of the hardware in Julia's chest and give her the antibiotic (that we fight with so strenuously about) via her port. So instead of forcing it down twice a week at home, she'll get a similar medication once every three weeks during her scheduled chemo appointments. Next Monday will be the first go at it and we'll continue it as long as she handles it ok.

We're excited about Wednesday because a Child Life Specialist is coming to Julia's school to do a presentation for her first grade class. Amanda, Finn, and I will be attending too. She'll talk to the class about things that are happening to Julia and all the while using the proper terms but in ways the kids can understand. They can ask questions and will even get information to take home to share with their parents.

We did eventually find out who gave Finn the firetruck and it made the story even more cool. A neighbor dropped it off one day because her grandson had outgrown it and she knew that Finn was of a good age to enjoy it. At the time, she had no inkling that anything was amiss or that Julia was in the hospital at the time.