August 16, 2014

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Day 8: side effects

The doctors told us that the worst days after chemo are days 7-10. Today is day 8 (obviously!) so we are at the height of side effects. Scarlett had a little bit of nausea today and threw up once. She also was complaining of a sore mouth. All of these things are to be expected but it doesn’t make us feel any better.

The most common side effect that we have to worry about is constipation. She has two meds to help prevent that. She is also at risk of nausea and vomiting. She also has two medications for that. Chemo causes mouth sores. Actually it causes sores through the entire GI tract. She “cleans” her mouth four times a day to try to prevent that. Most of the side effects of chemo are due to the fact that it destroys all the fast growing cells in your body – the leukemia cells, mucous membranes, like your mouth and GI tract and hair (which is why it falls out). Most of the medications she takes are to deal with the side effects of the chemo.

She was also a lot more tired today than she has been. Her doctors said that she may sleep up to 15 hours per day. For Scarlett, that would be a miracle. This is the same baby that literally slept for 3 hours a night for the first 11 months of her life. The same baby that gave up her second nap before she was one. And the same baby that rarely sleeps for more than an hour whenever Mama is home. Brock and I just laughed when we heard “15 hours a day”. “That won’t be our baby” we said. She is the most stubborn child when it comes to sleeping. There were three times today when she was so close to being asleep but just as her eyes closed, she fought back and stayed awake. Every time I lay her down, she hears the door close and wakes up and runs to the door. But when her regular nap time and bedtime arrive, she is out in 5 minutes. She usually fights me to rock forever but she has actually been asking to go to bed. I do worry that the lack of sleep is going to catch up with her and hurt her at some point but I do like her fighting spirit. Hopefully tomorrow will be an easier day for her.

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