Friday, April 10, 2009

Super Sib Update

Today, as I wrote in yesterday's post is Super Sib day. We got a nice surprise in the mail as the Super Sib organization sent Annalise a trophy! Here is a picture of a proud Annalise holding her trophy. Click on the picture to see that the trophy is even personalized with Annalise's name!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to a Super Sib

Today is Isabella's big sister's birthday. Ever since Isabella was born, you could just tell how much she loved Annalise and vice versa. Annalise has done a tremendous job over the last few months during this extremely difficult time. We've all had a lot of new jobs and roles around the house and Annalise has picked up her share. Whether it's helping Isabella take her pills, or reading a book with Isabella, or watching Nathaniel while we attend to Isabella, or acting as a pillow for Isabella when they watch TV. It certainly can't be easy for a 9 year old, especially one who loves attention, to watch her little sister with cancer or to only have one parent home at a time for several weeks. Annalise may have some "difficult episodes" now and then, but not once has she complained about helping out Isabella.

Tomorrow is also Super Siblings Day. There is an organization called Super Sibs which support the brothers and sisters of children who have life-threatening diseases. It's very easy for other children in a family to think "Hey! What about me?" as the parents attend to a sick child, and I'm glad there's an organization out there that thinks about the rest of the family during these times.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chemo Cycle 4 Complete

Isabella had a much better day today. Julianne took her into Hassenfeld today where they gave her IV fluids to hydrate her. She immediately felt better and ate some food. The good news is that she kept it down. When she got home, she finished up the last of the chemo for the cycle (temodar pills). After waiting an hour, she ate some more and held that down as well. She has not felt any nausea since early this morning. The temodar and nausea may hit her again later this week, but it is a good sign that she has an appetite. Isabella is also scheduled to receive IV fluids at home this week to help keep her hydrated.

Spoke Too Early

The effects of the chemo started hitting Isabella a little harder yesterday. It looks like Saturday night's vomiting was the start of her nausea and not just a simple case of over-eating. Yesterday, although Isabella had a bit of an appetite, she would throw up whatever she ate a few minutes later. This goes for both solids and liquids, so we're going to have to find a way to keep her hydrated.

When she's not eating, Isabella's spirits are good. Yesterday, we participated in an Easter Egg Hunt at out church. Unfortunately, they served some cake which Isabella wanted right away, but then threw it right up. But after a few minutes, we walked back home and played outside for a while.

Today, Julianne is bringing Isabella into Hassenfeld to get her some IV fluids to get her hydrated, and we may need to do IV fluids at home if she can't hold anything down. Today will also be Isabella's final day of temodar for this cycle. She's had a tough time this time around with swallowing pills due to anxiety, which causes her to cry and choke. But after today, she won't have to take the temodar pills anymore. We also hope to be home for at least a few weeks before the start of the final chemo cycle.