The fifth and final?

Isita started her fifth and, we hope, last cycle of induction chemotherapy yesterday evening. It will conclude on Thursday. So we are in with a chance of getting home for the bank holiday. The drug she is on this time is called cisplatin, the same as the third cycle which made her feel very bad. So the next few days probably won’t be great for her.

Having said that, the first 24 hours has been OK. She was a bit sick earlier this afternoon, and grumped at Tante Joosje for turning off the telly. Before she fell asleep she was happily charming the nurses, whom she knows very well by now. 

She has been on great form for the past week including the weekend we spent at home. Thank heavens the  doctors postponed the start of the treatment from Saturday. I don’t know whether this was to give them or us a break over the weekend. But we took the chance. 

We ate dairy-free pancakes on Saturday breakfast, dairy-free croissants on Sunday (hours of pastry-making), potato salad for lunch. And then we draped a sheet over the bannisters and put Disney’s Moana on the digital projector. The story of an intrepid young girl who doesn’t give up seemed just right.

Marta saw the full team of doctors yesterday. They are pleased with how Isita is bearing up. Contrary to our expectations they have given her the full dose of chemotherapy. This must be good, even if it means she feels a bit worse for a short while. They will start the major tests in three weeks – an MRI and a test using radioactive dye which will show up any cancerous cells elsewhere in the body. 

Only after the results can they say how the next steps will go. The best case is no metastases and the tumour small enough to be cut out easily. But if it is too close to a kidney, for instance, the surgeon may want more chemo to make the job easier. There’s no point in worrying too much about that. They great thing is that we are getting to the end of the first stage of the protocol with Isita in good shape. 

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