Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ania's treatment- Round 1: November 6th

Here is an EXCELLENT video that illustrates how Ania's Intra- Arterial Chemotherapy is performed ~ take a moment to marvel at this innovative procedure HERE!

  On November 6th, we arrived at Lutheran General at 7:00am.  Ania was scheduled to go in around 8:00am. While we waited, Ania and Mimi kept busy by drawing and playing with sticker books.  Mike and I were feeling pretty good but fearful for our daughter.  When it was time, she was given a mild sedative to relax. On a side note: when Ania is of legal drinking age in 18 years, she might be a fun girl to hang out with... lord help us- she was cracking us up! Anyways.....
After the sedative was in effect, I was able to carry her back into the operating room and lay her on the table.  I stroked her golden blond hair as they placed a mask on her face and drifted off to sleep.  I shook Dr. Shapiro's hand and was then whisked out of the room and reunited with Mike and Mimi.  While we waited, a social worker came in to talk with us about how we were feeling and processing the fact that our daughter was undergoing chemotherapy.  She gave us a thick book filled with tips to handle childhood cancer and treatment. However, I was kind of discouraged by the book because it seemed out of date for our situation.  All the book mentioned about Retinoblastoma was that treatment options were enucleation or systemic chemotherapy.  I just kept thinking "This is not us. This is not Ania's case. Her procedure is different. It will work."

  We went to the cafe for a little while and ate and waited. Pretty normal life at a hospital cafe I suppose.  I often look around and wonder what other people are there waiting for.  We finished our breakfast and headed back to the room to wait. Again. Shortly after returning, Dr. Grobelny (radiologist) came in and said he had successfully put the catheter in place and now the Malphalan (chemo drug) was slowly being administered.  He left us feeling confident that things were going well and it would only be a little longer until we would be able to comfort our baby.  Another hour passed. We were transferred to another waiting room to wait for her to be brought out to recovery.  I had just made a second cup of tea and were were called back to go see her. Hallelujah!

The best sight ever...
Sleeping beauty
She looked beautiful.  Our little warrior! We just watched her sleep for almost another hour. She just looked so peaceful. Angelic even. Once she woke up she was a little confused as to why she could not sit up and why her right leg was splinted but most of all, she just seemed comforted by seeing us.  I sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her when she was upset. That always calmed her! Her right leg was splinted so she could not bend it as it was very important to keep it still so the femoral artery injection site could heal properly.  She would have to stay that way for 8 hours.  She was given some anti-nausea medication because she got a little sick just before we were transferred to her hospital room for the night.  

Once in her room and reunited with her Mimi, she perked up a little bit. 
What a trooper! What a smile!
She even had a visit from her little brother later in the evening: 
Kellen says "Hi I-ya!"

Visiting hours ended at 8:00pm so Mike, Mimi & Kellen left us for the evening.  The only thing she would eat was purple Popsicles and cherry italian ice.  
About 10 seconds after this picture was taken, she threw up all those purple popsicles...poor baby :(
After  her leg splint was removed and she was given another dose of anti-nausea medication, she fell asleep as I played with her hair. I decided it was best if I try to get some rest too.

I woke up at 2:30am to pump as I was engorged from missing my baby.  She must have heard me moving around because she woke up too.  She woke up so happy! 
Hi Mommy! Lets snuggle!

We snuggled and watched a movie.  She told me she was hungry so I scrounged up some Cheerios and she ate 2 little boxes! After her movie was over she told me she wanted to walk. I picked her up and carried her down the hall to the play room.  She loved playing with Mr. Potato Head and his family...
"Makin Tatos"

And drawing pictures of mommy :) 

By 7:00am she said she was hungry again.  We ordered food to be delivered and she chose scrambled eggs, sausage and a blueberry muffin.  She ate it ALL! Around 10:30am, a resident of Dr. Goodell's came to visit and thought Ania looked ready to go home!
Homeward Bound!
All in all, she handled it like the dainty but MIGHTY warrior she is.  I am in complete awe of my daughter.  Her strength is inspiring.  Her joy is contagious. I was a changed person when I first met her 3.5 years ago and somehow once again she has changed me.  I never knew how strong I could be but watching this little person endure all that she has thus far makes me think "How in the world did I get so lucky to have this person as my child?'  What a gift! 

God Bless, 


1 comment:

  1. Ania is so precious! I continue to pray for your whole family as the Lord carries you through this time. What an amazing little trooper! Thank you for your blog.