Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One less thing to worry about

Hello. My name is Natalie. I am neurotic.
(Okay, all together now) Hello Natalie

Some of you know me well enough to know I can have a bit -- ok, a lot -- of neuroses. Maintaining my neuroses is a skill. I don't like to brag, lest all you wannabe neurotics out there feel bad. Keep working at it and someday you too, can be as crazy as me.

So, to say I had worries about Mandy and school this year is, well, a bit of an understatement. I was worried about the kids, I was worried about the teacher, I was worried about the Homebound program. Then today, I got this email:
Hi Mrs. Willis,

Mandy let me know that she would be out today because her chemo was moved up. I just wanted to let you know that we had a great first day! She has a wonderful sense of humor (only one that got all my jokes) and her work was great. She wrote more than anyone else about her summer and about how it feels to be in second grade!! I read over Mandy's IEP and it says that she is to receive individual academic instruction on the days she is not in school, however, I know the IEP is MIA. From reading your journal, it sounds like she feels pretty crummy the days she is home, but just let me know if you would like me to send extra work or anything else. I just thought I would attach our Quarter 1 project page since I sent it home today with our class. Of course, no pressure, but if she is feeling up to doing something, these are fun and involve crafts!

I spoke with Mrs. (Mandy's First Grade Teacher) and Mrs. (Zachary's teacher from last year, now lead teacher for the school), and don't you worry, I will hold high expectations for Mandy! I did let her eat a snack in the afternoon although I am not having a "snack time" in my classroom. Is that okay? Also, I want to be clear on how you would like me to discuss her situation with the rest of my students.
Lastly, I am in awe of you, your strength, and your positive attitude!

If I had said, "Ms. (Mandy's Teacher), this is what I would really love for you to say to me to appease my neuroses," the above is pretty much word-for-word what I would have written. So, how much do we love her???!!!

Chemo today was OK. We saw the neuro-oncologist again. We only see her once a month. I like her so much as a human being and have tremendous respect for her as a physician. It was such a hard decision to switch hospitals, but I am more convinced everytime we go to the new hospital that it was the right call. Mandy has become as comfortable as one could ever hope for and loves the nurses. And they so rock at putting up with my neuroses. They make my baby girl happy and they put up with me! Gotta love 'em!

Mandy had another breakthrough allergic reaction today. Some hives started rearing their ugly red heads. We got in front of it quickly and gave her a double dose of Benadryl again. It calmed the hives back down and she finished her chemo.

A new plan has been formulated due to the breakthrough reactions. From now on, she will get the one dose of Benadryl along with the steroid at the beginning, then her Zofran (anti-nausea), then her Vincristine (chemo med) then 1.5 hours of Carboplatin (other chemo med). Then we will stop that infusion for a second full dose of Benadryl and then run the rest of the 1.5 hours of Carboplatin. Then 2 hours post hydration. Hopefully, that will keep the allergic reaction under control.

And in case you have ever wondered what 40 mg of Benadryl in a 44 pound body looks like:

Love to all~

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