Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Steroid Week = Stare-a-DROID week
Brayden's made jokes for a while about his steroid pills. There's definitely a scientific reason for everything he takes and we're so thankful for the research that's improved the success rate for treatment for Leukemia. Our family can all agree about one thing - WE DON'T LIKE the steroids! There have been MANY funny stories the past 21 months involving the side effects of steroids: our first July 4th platter of deviled eggs neatly in the fridge the night before and the morning after - GONE! I digress...Can you guess what week last week was? Yes, steroid week. It definitely impacts the cellular activity, so we know there are reasons. We just try to not think about the effects of steroids too greatly. We know there have been MUCH more intense dosages and we've endured those. His monthly dose is much more tolerable - just 1 week. It never fails by that last dose at the end of the week, we're all celebrating. But what we've come to realize is the effects of those can last well into the second week. BOOO!!! I don't know if you've heard of users of steroids who abuse its uses, but those side effects remain true even if you're taking it to help combat Leukemia. So we jokingly call them this because it causes Brayden to turn into a droid for a little bit! Poor guy - I can't imagine what all is going on in his body. I know he does his best to stay true to himself. All the chemicals have such an effect and this is so true of the emotional effect stare-a-droids have. The food symptoms are the least of our worries! We do our best with knowing glances between me & Bryan mentally remembering what week it is in his treatment plan, take a deep breath, and move on. Then, before you know it, our sweet Brayden is back again.
The worst thing about this time of the month in his treatment cycle is how sore it can make him. Some days he's sore to the touch. We do back massages and anything we can to help him. But on these days, it just kills me and makes me physically ill to hear him wince and remind me today's when he's hurting all over. I'm so glad those days aren't lingering and move away quickly.
Monday's chemo at the local clinic went well. Of course, with steroid week, his counts were artificially higher than normal. We throw this week out when measuring his counts since we know it's impacted from the steroids. There were some dips to his hemoglobin and platelet measures, but nothing to be alarmed about. It's hard to look at the numbers and not catch your breath for a second and wonder if it's the start of a decline or just a short-term dip. All in all, he's still doing so remarkably well. That's what keeps us going and propelling us forward.
For now, my little weather man will keep a close watch on the snow forecast. It was just too scary cold last time to let him play in it, but we'll have to get out there and enjoy the white stuff if we get as much as they're saying. He's crossing his fingers he'll get some snow...and, of course, a snow day. Some things never change...