Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chemo and other tests

Some of you don't look at the comment section and some have asked about why we still need the chemo. The chemotherapy is to kill any cancer cells that may still be in her body. Cancer just means fast growing cells. A cancerous tumor can be found just about anywhere in your body but really can't be detected until the tumor gets to be a certain size to see on CT scans or MRI's. The chemo kills any fast growing cells, good and bad. So all of the cells inside your mouth and esophagus or stomach and hair is attacked. So there are numerous side effects of chemo. So Devree has had her round of tests to make sure she doesn't loose any ground during chemo. Her hearing has been tested and hasn't improved or gotten worse. Radiation and cisplatin (main chemo drug) cause hearing loss. Her balance has gotten better. But I was hoping that her Physical Therapist would offer the electric muscle simulas for her facial muscles. St. Jude wouldn't do it during radiation and now the hospital doesn't allow it at all. That was a bit of a disappointment. I guess I will have to research that myself. Her coordination is better. She did the game with Dr. Armstrong that she doesn't like to play, touch the finger to her nose and then touch the doctor's finger as he moves it quickly in several different directions, He was really impressed because she has improved. She was tested for occupational therapy and passed with flying colors. Her psychology test came back before and said she is a little slow in her responses. She will be tested again in psychology. She is being tested for speech. Speech for brain tumor patients is a little different than just seeing if she can pronounce the words with her paralysis. She is tested on how quickly she can come up with words and explanations of pictures of items. She passed with flying colors before. In fact they went as high as their testing allows and Devree passed.

Today we will have a radiation follow-up. The affects of radiation last up to 6 months after. She did apheresis for 9 hours being in a bed to get her stem cells for transplant during chemo. She was able to get enough for 2 rounds of chemo but she will have to go back for another time ofr apheresis. We were relieved because sometimes 2 days in a row they want you to do apheresis, but Devree's blood was good.

At 8 pm we will be admitted into the hospital to start chemo tomorrow. I will take pictures of the hospital and it seems like they still want us to do a ton of stuff in there. She needs to get up and make 3 rounds of walking around the hospital floor and she has to blow in this thing about 10 times a day and she has to do stuff for her teeth several times so the chemo doesn't make her teeth fall out and so that she doesn't get mouth sores. She has to urinate every 2 hours for 2 days so that the chemo doesn't stay in her system and damage her kidneys. They give her another drug to help prevent that. There is a packet of 100 pages that I had to read and frankly it is SCARY!!!! She has to be weighed 2 times a day at 12 hours apart, wearing the same clothes because there is another drug that causes liver damage and any weight gain could be the liver shutting down. Then we have to be really careful of any bacteria or germs in anyway! So she has to take a bath everyday and a sitz bath in iodine. She has to wear slippers on the floors but cannot just wear socks because she is not allowed to walk on the floors and sleep with those same socks. Of course she has to change her clothes everyday but she has to be wearing the same clothes that she was weighed in that same day. There are only 3 other people allowed in the room because of the Hepa filter to clean the air. But I do get a seperate room so the nurses won't be waking me up, I will just wake Devree to assist her with the going to the bathroom every 2 hours. I don't know if they allow anyone to visit. Right now it looks like just family and no one under 12 years of age.

Whooeee, if this isn't something! I have the camera packed to take all of the pictures of us in the hospital.

Have a Great Thursday.


walkinourshoes said...

Dear Aunt Shana and Devree,

Wow, that is work out. Life is going to be very busy for you. We hope that your spirits will stay high, though all of this crazy schedule. We love you tons, and pray that all will be well, and back to normal, very soon.

Love, Koe

PaulaShawn said...

What a load you are carrying... and a lonely road you are traveling. While so many of your friends here in Dayton have never been down the road you have been forced to take, that doesn't mean that we aren't lining its pathway to cheer you on. We'll try to cut down the long branches and other obstacles that will hang over your path so that you can steadily move foward on it. But we can't do much about the contours of the trail. I wish we could. I'd make a wide open sandy beach at sunset for you to walk on. But for some reason Heavenly Father sees that you need this trek, this refinement for your future. I envy the strength and the perspective you will have when you reach your destination, look around, and discover how blessed you have been to be noticed by your Father and given this opportunity that he entrusts so few of His children with. You are being divinely tutored. The pain comes from our bodies not being up to speed with our spirits in the process.
You are not alone! Look at all the hits on your blog! But even more importantly, look at this anytime you are feeling like no one else can possible know what it is like to experience what you are experiencing.
(it's that great talk by Eld. Holland)

Hug each other from the Heussers.

Darcy said...

You have a very busy schedule ahead of you guys. Looks like they're taking many precautions to keep her from getting sick. I think they should take it an extra step and make visitors wear a mask.
Love to you both,

Breck, Celest, Tayzia, Talon, Kallie, and Jackson Rice said...

Wow, you must be completely overwhelmed with all of the information you have received! We missed you last night and hope that you were able to get some rest after your busy day. We have some clothes for Devree, just let us know when a good time would be to bring them by. We will be praying for you as you transition into chemo. We Love You so much! Aunt Celest and Fam

soggycheerios said...

I don't see any room for sleep in that schedule. Does she really have to get up in the middle of the night to do all of these things?
We're missing you all the time. Praying that this next week is a fast one for you with little trouble.

soggycheerios said...

Oh! one more thing. I saw Noble's name in the local paper yesterday for making Honor Band, would you like me to save that for you? Congrats! Noble.

Lisa Wilcox said...

Hey Devree. We missed you last night at mutual. My prayers are with you as you begin this week of chemo. I went to the temple yesterday and put your name on the prayer roll. We sure do love you and think of you always.

Sister Wilcox