Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Starting Chemo Again

The last month was like a breath of fresh air. No chemo for an entire month, and only two bumble bees (aka port access) and one EKG. Grace's counts were so high that she was able to go to pumpkin patches, play with friends at the park and ride her scooter.

Last night Grace started steroids again, which is surprisingly a form of chemo. It's not an injection, only pills, but steroids can be very difficult, especially at the doses she takes. She's only had one dose and last night at 2am she woke up hungry. When she first started steroids in month one, she would sit down and eat for two hours straight. Literally. And they made her so weak she couldn't use the bathroom by herself. The mood swings are terrible, they leave her sad and confused. Steroids are no fun. She'll be on and off them this month and next.

Grace will also be starting IV forms of chemo next week. She'll also be trying PEG which is a very potent chemo drug, but it has side effects. One of Grace's new buddies just had a very scary anaphylactic (allergic) reaction to it. Grace's oncologist thinks it's what gave Grace pancreatitis last time. But it's such an important chemo that her doctor wants to try it again. Thankfully Grace was already on morphine when she had pancreatitis before, but she wasn't allowed to eat or drink for three days straight. So if Grace gets it again, it's a safe bet we'll be inpatient again for a few days minimum.

She will also become nuetropenic again soon...and right in time for the flu season. So if you will be around her this winter, please get a flu shot! I'm already anticipating the very real possibility that we'll be inpatient often this winter, but praying that it won't be too often.

Grace's oncologist also warned us that Grace's new hair will all fall out again shortly, as will her eyelashes and eyebrows. Her face will be swelling again. But she'll still be our Grace. Our beautiful Grace. Thankfully Grace already knows at a young age that her smile is the most beautiful part of her, and chemo can't take that away.

Please be praying for Grace and our whole family as we start the last two months of chemo (before we start a year of low-dose chemo in maintenance) this week. The last two months before we had our month off were difficult, though certainly easier than before. We need God's provision and strength to continue on strong.


  1. Such a strong brave and beautiful soul. The Cali's are praying for you and your family. Stay strong mom. Hope we get to see you in clinic soon and not inpatient. Keep on kicking cancers butt Grace!!