Thursday, January 8, 2009

Home....

Well, we were in hospital for a week and Meg did so, so well. She took all the new treatment on the chin again and didn't grumble or complain about anything, in spite of feeling absolutely wretched most of the time. It's good to be back home, and Meg is so relieved to be sleeping in her own bed again. We've been home for 5 days now and Meg's nausea is still coming in waves, poor love. I've had to give her anti-nausea medications every day, just to get her through. The problem is that if she starts to vomit, and we can't control it, she'll get very dehydrated quickly, especially as it's 35 degrees here. Dehydration can be extremely dangerous for chemo recipients as the toxins in her system can cause irreversable damage to her kidneys.

We went to the hospital yesterday (just outpatients) to get Meg's blood checked and to see her oncologist. She is VERY neutrapenic now. This means that she has absolutely no immune system - the chemo has destroyed it. The thing about chemo is that it can't differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells, so in the process of trying to destroy the cancer, her normal healthy cells get wiped too. This leaves her looking very pale, feeling weak and tearful and very susceptible to getting temperatures and infections, mainly from the normal bacteria that she has on and in her own body. She now has a canula in her leg into which I have to inject a medication every day to try to help her neutophils recover sufficiently for her to receive the next cycle of chemo. She hates this, although never resists it, but it really stings and I feel so bad hurting her. She now has to do "mouth care" which she also absolutely hates. It's a regime where she has to use a nasty tasting mouthwash and hold it in her mouth for about 20 seconds, followed by coating the inside of the mouth with a protective gel. People on intensive chemo like Meg's often suffer from mucositis. This is where the lining of the mouth sloughs away, sometimes along with the lining of the oesophagus, causing lots of painful ulcers. Unfortunately for Meg, she just seems to find it impossible to do her mouthcare without vomiting. I'm really not sure how we're going to get around that..... but we're going to have to work something out or she's going to be back in hospital with mucositis.

On a positive note, we're looking forward to my mum arriving in Perth tomorrow. It's been so hard for her to be so far away from us all and we need her to be here as much as she needs to be be here. Meg's very excited about meeting Nana at the airport! Another plus is that our lovely big girl Ellie came back yesterday from her holiday at our wonderful friends, Ross and Tanya's farm in beautiful Nannup. It was so good to see her. We all missed her loads but it was better for her to be away and enjoying herself with her best bud, than to-ing and fro-ing to PMH.

Whilst we were in hospital I spent quite a bit of time searching out other "top" people in the oncology world, just to see if I could find out any more about the treatment protocol that Meg's on. I had a lovely email from a very well regarded oncologist in the US yesterday who told me that they had 8 other patients who are on this protocol and that at the moment the outcomes are looking quite good, so that was reassuring. He also said that he'd be interested in following Meg's case so I'll be keeping in touch with him, and hopefullly manage to find someone else who I can talk to who's having, or has had this experience too.


So, we're all back together, at home for now, and I'm glad.... Meggie has had a pretty rough day today and is now sleeping, cuddled up to her favourite fluffy unicorn, Rainbow. She's so stubborn sometimes though. I had to insist that she had a rest and she continued to say "I'm not tired, I'm not tired". 5 minutes later she was sound asleep! I hope she feels better when she wakes up.....


3 comments:

UNCLE STU said...

Hey Meggie, Don't you just look so comfy and cosy cuddled up to your Unicorn!! We are so glad to know that you are home and well done on giving Dad a hiding at Swingball. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't stand a chance against you either.

Justine, Malcom, Matthew and Dylan all send their love and say "get well soon". After you have done that it is time to persuade Dad that a visit to your family in South Africa is long overdue.

If I knew how to get a photograph uploaded onto this blog I would love to let you see what all the starnge relatives you have at this end of the World look like. Malcolm is a bit of a computer boffin - maybe I'll get him to help me.

Keep fighting love - we are all rooting for you and remember we all love you SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH,

Uncle Stu and Aunt Nicky

trazzer said...

Hiya Stanley Gang,
Glad to hear that your all back in your home - sweet home ... Meggie really does look very cosy in that lovely bed , I just feel like crawling in next to her for a quick cuddle...
( bet meggie thinks oooow no you don't ) he,he, anyway still thinking of you all everyday lots of love as alway's Tracey XXXX :)

Harbords said...

G'day Stanleys
Good to hear you're all back under the same roof. Paul loved his poem Meg well I thought it was very funny but quite correct- He is smelly!! Hope you're all keeping cool, we are as its very very cold here... help I want to come back to Oz now. Glad to hear Nannies arriving, they're always good for loads of cuddles.
Keep your spirits up and a very very happy new year , I'm sure its just going to get better and better.
Love and positive thoughts always Carolyn and Paul xxxxxxxx
I think you should write another poem about Paul's hair style (or lack of)