Today Isita recieved her final high dose of chemotherapy. There is no more chemo scheduled in the protocol. Her stem cells will be transplanted back into her on Tuesday and the effect of the drugs will be strongest in her body towards the end of next week. It will take at least four weeks for her to recover.
The doctors are pleased – even surprised –at her progress. She has a tummy bug, but not one that can get into her blood. So nothing to worry about. Apart from that, she is in a better mood and no worse shape than when we started five days ago. This may be because we have all got used to the new regime and have worked out a pattern. Marta and I are more relaxed than we were, and that helps.
Of course, she still has an occasional sulk, like this morning when I took the plastic salt cellar from her new toy kitchen and sprinkled imaginary salt on a collection of plastic vegetables. How was I to know they were pretend cupcakes for Lola the fairy? I ruined them and everything had to go in the (pretend) bin. It’s no use saying it’s only make-believe, she was genuinely angry for five minutes.
Now that about a month has passed since anything but water passed Isita’s lips, most of her play, iPad games and YouTube watching revolves around ice cream, pizza, and any kind of cooking. She has compiled a detailed list of what she is going to eat once she is allowed. It is certain, however, that we won’t even try to wean her off the intravenous nutrition and back on to actual food until the four week recovery period is over. It is not much of a consolation that in a week she may feel too sick to want to eat. This is as hard as anything else she is going through.
Today has been a small exception to the no eating rule. The final dose of chemo has been a tiny amount of a very powerful drug. They gave it over just 15 minutes this morning. It can cause painful sores in the throat and stomach. One way to mitigate or prevent this is ‘cryotherapy’ – or eating ice lollies as it is otherwise known. We made them last night amidst great excitement. They are incredibly diluted, but maybe not to her tastebuds. Ice lolly therapy!