Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bouncing Back

Two things are notable about this picture. First, after four days of being quite ill, Amanda finally felt well enough to leave the house. I don't anticipate her getting out as much in the next two months due to the medication side effects, so seeing her go for a short walk is uplifting. I hate starting new treatment rounds because it seems like quite a random process of waiting and seeing which unpleasantness you will get struck with. When they give you the cancer treatment handout it lists all the medications and all the potential side-effects. Various medications range from just a few side effects to upwards of 20. I don't' understand why she has hardly any side-effects to Vincristine, but seems to be racking up some bad ones for Methotrexate. So it goes. Fortunately, the intense nausea/vomiting, and pain has subsided. It lasted a solid 48 hours. Right now she has no appetite, excessive thirst, her eyes are starting to swell up and water, and she doesn't have a lot of energy. These are manageable. Unfortunately she is the princess and the pea kind of kid and makes mountains out of molehills when it comes to anything out of the ordinary with her body. She still puts a band aid on everything that's uncomfortable. This personality trait doesn't help much. But it is a relief to see that the intense side effects have the potential to slow down and give her somewhat of a break between treatments. It gives me a chance to catch up on my sanity.

The second thing that is unusual about this picture is that Erin and Amanda are calmly sitting this close together. We even caught them resting their heads on each other. Erin has had so many behavior and sleep problems, from food allergies and what's thought to be a neuro-processing disorder, that it has been difficult for Amanda to tolerate her. As her early intervention team put it, "Erin's too smart and wants to take over the world." Combine that with another head strong child and you are in for some problems. Over the past few weeks they have accepted the loss of interacting with others and are getting along better than ever. I know it's just by default, but it's been good for them to learn to like each other again. There are still hard moments between the two of them, but overall they seem happy to have each other.

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