Saturday, April 4, 2009

4-04-09: Hard Day

Sarah's PICC line was installed in her left arm and she started chemo Thursday.

Yesterday the oncologist told us Sarah's kidneys looked like they were getting ready to fail after the first dose of five of chemo. Sarah's fluid intake was increased in an effort to protect them and we moved forward with dose two. Sarah's heart was also in jeopardy since her potassium had dropped and the added fluids would potentially drop her potassium more. Potassium supplements were added to offset this. Thanks to many prayers and God's continued mercy, the second dose of chemo didn't shut any of her organs down and her electrolytes were within acceptable values today.

More goods news, her WBC (including blasts) dropped from 26k to 18k after the first dose of chemo and from 18k to 1k after the second dose. Were were hoping for a response like this and hope to see the her cancer burden drop further tomorrow. We did stop the chemo after day 2 due to her adverse reactions. We'll see what tomorrow holds for us tomorrow.

We are so glad to see this day end. Today has been one of the worst days we have had since the beginning of our cancer journey. Ben says the stress has aged him at least five years. It all started at around 6 am. Sarah developed a 104.2F fever accompanied by nausea and extreme physical discomfort. She spent the entire morning thrashing about and crying "Mama" and yet she was so uncomfortable we couldn't touch her. Her fever broke through the early morning dose of Tylenol but the second dose did finally kick in after about 2 hours. Sarah's breathing was very labored and her heart rate was at 200BPM at one point. The oncologist told us Sarah would probably not be able to breathe on her own by the end of the day and that she thought Sarah was dying.

To make Sarah more comfortable we increased her Ativan and gave her a PCA with morphine. The Ativan was a good move and really helped get Sarah over her nausea and ease some of the fever induced discomfort. We did give her one mg. of morphine and that helped her pain but we are now second guessing the morphine. Sarah was already having difficulty breathing and morphine can suppress respiratory function. She did actually scare us by skipping a few breathes after getting the morphine. We are hoping to not use the morphine.

But at around noon Sarah started to turn around. Her respiratory rate and heart rate both slowed closer to normal. Her fever dropped and has not gone high again. She seemed to feel and act much better. She even played with a new doll for a little while. Since Sarah has improved so much we are going to try reducing her Ativan.

Please pray that Sarah's respiratory issues clear up and that her fevers clear. Also pray that her blast burden remains low, her organs continue to function properly and she doesn't get another infection allowing her to enter the clinical trial.

-Susan and Ben


Anonymous said...

So thankful for the praises...continuing to pray fervently!


Anonymous said...

Remember you are not walking through this alone...Not only is God with you, but all your prayer warriors are with you in thought and continual prayer.
Cousin Kay

Anonymous said...

We are continueing to pray, not only for Sarah, but for you and Ben and the stress/pressure you are under. May the Lord sustain you and your whole family.

With much love,
The Reif Family