We just finished week 22 of chemotherapy. It was not a fun one. The specific type of drug Goo gets requires tons of IV fluids, which makes her pee all. night. long. so we’re always super tired in the hospital the next day. And now, in addition to hair loss and occasional tummy trouble, it’s doing this weird thing to her sense of smell. She hates the smell of – well, everything. She hates the smell of the entire hospital. We were there for 2 days, and I’m not kidding when I say she held her nose the entire time. She hates the smell of alcohol wipes – super convenient when you’re getting IV pushes of something or other every 2 hours. She hates the smell of chocolate, and tomato soup, and hand sanitizer, and blankets.
Chemotherapy is so much fun.
She also gets another drug that is particularly brutal on the stomach. She never had issues until this one was added into her regimen. It’s called Actinomycin, and it would make a wonderful torture device. Goo gets anti-nausea meds around the clock when she gets it, but this time even that didn’t cut it and she vomited the next morning. We added in a second anti-nausea med, and she was better. Except that we had different doctors on the floor this time, and a new nurse, none of whom were familiar with her or the fact that she never eats for 24-48 hours after chemo. She always makes up for it once the poison starts letting up on her tiny tummy, but she has two days where she pretty much hates food. Understandable. Except the new staff members decided to tell us we couldn’t leave unless she ate. And I kind of hate being there, so I begged and pleaded and prayed and got her to eat a double popsicle.
To which the doctors replied, “She needs to eat more.” Sigh. Really? Let’s make a deal. I’ll give you cancer, and horrific medication, and then see if you feel like downing some pizza and nachos while the medication rips away at the lining of your stomach. MMkay?
I really love our hospital. Like really, really love it. Everyone is fantastic. But if you expect chemo kids to eat immediately after treatment, you’re maybe forgetting the number one side effect of chemotherapy. Or maybe you don’t know what uncontrolled nausea feels like. Hint: it feels like awfulness. Because that’s a thing. I told them that this is her norm: she’s getting a drug that almost always leads to the need of a feeding tube, and she has a day or two where her appetite is off. That she has been really great about eating at home. That they need to back the heck off because this is my baby who is suffering through her treatment and I may call on my inner Jackie Chan in a minute.
Well, maybe I didn’t actually say that last part. But I thought it.
Anyway. I got her to eat some apple. Like 1/3 of it. Then I was naughty – I threw it away and told them she ate most of it. And we went home. And the next morning she woke up and ate a whole peach and a cup of yogurt with nuts and granola.
Told ya so.