We’ve had a wonderfully busy and fun week of smiles, laughter and endless excitement but as with everything in life, what goes up, must come down, and it unfortunately ended with Eleanor starting her second cycle of chemo in this consolidation phase. The cycle where the new drug Cyclophosphamide was introduced. Unlike what we’ve been used to this drug requires an overnight stay in hospital, so additional intravenous fluids can be administered. 3 hours of fluids, followed by an hour of chemo and then a further 12 hours of fluids along with a drug called Mesna. Cyclophosphamide is a bladder irritant and the Mesna is used to protect her bladder/kidneys and reduce any risk of infection or bleeding.
Eleanor was given her usual anti sickness medication in tablet form during the day and then intravenously as she slept overnight… I say ‘slept’ but I use the term loosely! Due to the constant fluids we had three wet beds and a number of bouts of sickness. Eleanor slept a while but I barely slept a wink. Couple the wet beds and sickness with a noisy hospital ward and the 3 machines Eleanor was hooked up to taking it in turns to play the sound of their people (“beeeeeeeeeeeep!!!”) all night… just try to imagine how hard it was to get any rest. I was on edge all night with sick bowls and bed pans within reach and as soon as I heard as much as a whimper from Eleanor I was there like SuperMum with a bowl at each end!
Saturday morning came and Eleanor slept for the majority of it. We were sent home around 2pm and she seemed her usual bouncy self! We decided as she was feeling well that we would head out for dinner that night. The minute we turned up at the restaurant Eleanor smelled the food and immediately started to feel sick, almost emptying her tummy right outside the door! Tim sat outside with her and I quickly grabbed a takeaway instead.
She didn’t eat much that night and was tired so she went to bed early. Tim and I slept in her room with her, sick bowls and medication at the ready! She continued to feel sick the next day, every so often the colour would drain from her face and we would rush to her with a bowl.
I absolutely hate seeing her so unwell. She always looks so terrified when she’s sick, I don’t think it’s something you can ever get used to no matter how many times it happens. She grabs my hand and says “Mummy” over and over and I can see how frightened she is. It breaks me every time. It’s almost easy to forget just how poorly she is as most of the time she looks so well. We are amazed that she’s kept the majority of her hair and although she’s quite thin she looks like any other child her age, not how you’d expect to see a child on cancer treatment. So when we have these days where she’s not herself, not wanting to eat and being sick it really hits home to us what’s happening to her and it really feels so unfair.