This week has been brutal, sadly my concerns, thoughts and anxiety have gotten the best of me. It started out with me shuffling and switching out Brinley's protocol sheets. If I haven't explained this before, I will now, if I have forgive me and skip ahead. Brinley has a protocol sheet given to me at the term of every treatment cycle, each treatment cycle is different, some are 30 days, some are 60, the next one is 90. We're are currently facing standard delayed intensification, which is a 57 day stretch. After thumbing through what appears to be the next 57 days of what can best be described as hell, I started googling. I've been really good about not going "web MD" on this disease, basically because of the fear, it's the whole "don't ask the question if you can't handle the answer" theory. But this time left brain won.
So I researched further into Doxorubicin a.k.a. Red Devil, aka Red Death. Then I moved on to Cyclophosphamide, and Thioguanin, these are the 3 new drugs Brinley will be having this stretch of the race, all of their side effects will cause her blood counts to bottom out making her very prone in infection. Never mind the vincristine, cytarabine, methotrexate, and the PEG shot she will have, yes that is 7 drugs, AND steroids...again. After my web MD session and an ativan I started to settle down.
The truth is that I can't barter with cancer. It is what it is, and I have to dig deep and push through. I often catch myself wondering how much more I can grin and bare it, and then I remind myself that I have no other choice. If I can't help her fight this, then who? So to say I'm prepared for the next 60 days, I'm not so sure that I am, but I can try. I've learned to expect the worse and hope for the best. I've tried (the best that I can) to emotionally prepare myself for a changed little girl, both physically and spiritually, I've told myself that she will be sick, and tired. I've told myself that she will now wear the look of the "sick little cancer girl". I have stocked up on hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, tissues, zofran, and a variety of steroid munchies. In a way I feel like I have armored myself against what is to come. I am fully aware that Brinley may not experience any of the common hardships that go with this part of her treatment. She may fly through this unscathed, and pass with flying colors...and nobody wishes for that more than I do...but I refuse to be blind sided by this disease again. I want to...no, I NEED to know exactly what could or could not happen, I need to know the good, the bad and the ugly and as much anxiety I have given myself over this, I'm ready for battle.