You know that feeling when you are slowly getting jerked up the track of a roller coaster? With each jerk forward your grip gets tighter and tighter and knuckles white from the building anticipation of whats to come. Well that is how we have felt towards the end of Olive’s last cycle and the beginning of this one.
June 20th was the kick off of our last aggressive cycle. It consists of almost everything Olive endured the first couple months of treatment…Lots of intrathecal (chemo into her spine) treatments where she gets put to sleep for, but does not like at all, high dose steroids which makes her very emotional, have wild cravings, and insomnia. She is good about voicing what she is feeling most of the time but I can also see her struggling with these
erratic feelings. The month was quite a trip on steroids for 7 days on and then 7 days off. When she was off they were still in her system for about 3-5 days so just when she was feeling like herself another blast of steroids came. She dealt with the highs and lows as best she could. We are all glad that that is behind us for now. Along with that came the weekly Friday chemo days which have continued to be dreadful because of the port access and being put to sleep. With a chat and Olive digging deep for her game face we have continued to truck along.
From June 20th until about July 27th we have been able to do some really fun things and looking back there was a handful of true highlights that we are so greatful for. Olive got through the first month of this 2 month cycle well. Then finishing 2 weekends of IV chemo being given at home by momma. We have 2 weeks left and Olive’s counts dropped. She was appearing really tired by Monday so Tuesday we brought her in and as we expected she needed a blood transfusion. I left Adam and Olive at her hospital and went off to work at mine. When I arrived home Olive and daddy were snuggled on the couch taking a nap. Olive could not be enticed at all by dinner, pizza and asparagus one of her favorites, so it was off to bed. With her bags packed (just in case) we held our breath and went to bed. At 5am sharp, Olive woke us up. Our girl was a little hot tamale, with a temp of 102 and being neutropenic, we were off to the hospital after a call to the doc. We had a wonderful fever free stretch which we are all grateful for. Now we just have to put on our creative caps and make the best of our situation.
We arrived at 6 am and luckily I grabbed the activity box just before we left the house. Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine!! (Thanks Ralph!) I recommend this to all parents of little girls! It helps to take you away from the stereotype “girly games” and intrigues little ladies to think outside the box and get their little minds spinning in every fun way. Day 1 of the 9th hospital admission, not including the treatment and infusion days. ahhhhhh …2014 you have been relentless but we are still gonna fight back and have as much fun as we can along the way.
The past couple months has been a handful of really fun moments that Adam and I will journal about the peaks. We must remember them when we fall into these valleys.
Fun stories to come!!! Thanks everyone for checking in and always keeping our Olive in your hearts and prayers.
Wow!! When people say time flies time has really flown! Olive’s last cycle was called interim maintenance. We were told that it was always a 50:50 chance on how kids tolerate this cycle but with our first few months introduction into this world of cancer we were holding our breath. Every 14 days Olive went in for treatment and every time she would come out with great energy and numbers!! There were no need for transfusions or fever re-admissions. We still tread lightly because we just didn’t want to risk this wonderful thing that was given to us for 2 months….OUR GIRL! She was just back in every beautiful way possible with nothing zapping an ounce of her spirit.
Our first big outing was a ferry boat ride over to angel island for a day of biking and hiking. The minute we stepped off that boat the four us felt like we were on vacation. Oh how the small things become wonderfully grand in every way! The girls both hiked for well over an hour (yes even our little lioness QUINN). We did not make it to the peak but there were so many views points along the way and each one Olive would stop and say “wow look at that view” (it was the same view every time but it was sweet to see how it affected her all over again and again. Quinn was chasing lizards enjoying her own view of things. The day ended with ice cream for the girls and a cold beverage for mom and dad while a local sang some Bob Dylan tunes.
Slice of Heaven. Thank you
Perseverance....What a beautiful strength to attain. Olive has been facing her battle everyday for 5 months weather she has wanted to or not. There have been days that challenges seemed too tough, fears too great, moments too REAL. Child's play (at times) have been put on hold and Olive has had to become a bigger kid than needed at such a young age. With each challenge Olive has persevered.
Sisters are like ice cream; They cheer you up, and make you smile!!
This twosome is a they perfect double scoop of ice cream. Quinn has risen to the call of true sisterhood at such a young age. She loves her sister without judgement and adjusts her level of play just by reading Olive’s energy levels. She is affectionate, protective and adds spice and fun every minute of Olive’s day. Quinny, we are so proud of you and the way you have rocked and rolled with our new reality. I know times have been tough and so confusing but someday you will realize the importance of the role you had in keeping Olive strong and spirits soaring.
Like we always say.. sisters love. Stay strong and spicey. We love you.
Olive finished her first treatment Sunday night. We were able to get home by 10pm, shower her and tuck her into bed for what we hope will be 13 nights before she gets readmitted for 4 days of treatment. As the nurses were disconnecting her lines she flicked a rubber band across the room and announced"I'm breaking out of here"! Was the funniest spontaneous quote. My sis, Erin, the nurse, Olive and I were all rolling with laughter.
We were officially fried after the last stent in the hospital. 13 nights and 14 day...almost sounds like a dream vacation, right? It was a long waiting game that was filled with the fear of what ifs and when our Ollie would rebound. We missed Passover and Easter together as a family. Quinn had caught a cold so we couldn't have any more visits from the sis. Our 9 year wedding anniversary came and went. It seemed like the numbers were never going to budge. We were stuck, she finally got to a level that was safe to go home and continue the waiting game. We left on a Tuesday plan to check labs Thursday but in all likely hood treatment would not resume until the following week.
Ollie has been in room 505 in the hospital now for fifteen days now. I at least get to break out of here every other day or so but she has been cooped up. I can't believe how amazingly good she has been. I'm ready to tear my fucking hair out.
We are just on this wild cancer train. We have had some amazing moments the past few weeks all padded by never ending cancer "pop ups". Treatment on Fridays have trucked along keeping her counts low but had remained fever free. This past Tuesday was our third week in a row needing a blood transfusion. After her Friday treatment the doctors always want to check counts come Tuesday due to the high likelyhood of her becoming anemic, neutropenic and or becoming thrombocytopenic. We have hit all three needing transfusion each Tuesday then followed by another full day for treatment on Friday. Our days off have been good, playing within our home or out back thanks to the amazing weather we've been having. Olive and Quinn are running wild together and getting along most of the time(thank god!) Frozen sound track and elaborate dress up is on permanent repeat in our house. Its pretty amazing to see the two of them sing some of the lyrics together....Olive knowing a bit more than her little sis;)
We are still out of "the big house" and loving it. Fear for readmission and fever always hovering in our thought but we were able to enjoy another week at home. We finished up another round of intravenous chemo at home, Olive's blood counts did plummet by Tuesday so Grandmom and Pop Pop got to keep Ollie company on their last day together in the hospital. The transfusion took for over 5 hours but was spent playing games and having some final snuggle time before they had to say goodbye.
This week and weekend flew by! Olive had a wonderful week filled with very successful visits from her teachers. All three days she was exhausted before they visited but 1minute and and this girl was hooked for 2 hrs all 3 days!! Another tell tale sign of her strength and determination.