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I actually know what I’m talking about. At least this one time.

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.


What doctors think chemotherapy looks like. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.


What chemotherapy actually looks like. (Photo credit: Bob Bekian)

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.


About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

10 responses »

  1. Michelle Brown

    I so appreciate your wit through this storm in your lives. I have been thinking about you guys lately and appreciate the updates. it’s important that the Body of Christ knows whats going on with its members. We will continue to pray for you!

  2. Ahhhh – just one of the reasons I love you 🙂 sending love, hugs, and prayer ❤

  3. I just feel awful for Goo, you and family for all that you are going through, I so wish I could make it all go away, but I know that God will and I continue to pray for the strength and courage that you need to get through this, and will. God Bless!!

  4. Good for you sticking up for your baby! Hard to even hear that they were trying to force her to eat after what she went through. My prayers are with Goo, and you and the rest of your family.

    P.S. Once when my son was about a year old, he was in the ER for a middle of the night ear infection. I told the nurse not to give him liquid Tylenol, that he always throws it up. Crush up a pill, I tried to tell her. NO, she gave him the liquid, and he threw up all that RED liquid all over her. Ummmm…..I tried to tell you….

    • I do find it really frustrating when they don’t listen to the parents. We actually know our kids. I once had to bring Punkin for what I knew was a raging urinary tract infection (she used to get them all the time) marked by a temp of 106.1 F. I told the nurse in the ER, to which she replied, “Oh, hoome temperatures are never accurate. I’m sure she’s fine.” I told her I took it rectally, and I was sure. She casually waited, and when she finally took her temp said, “Oh my gosh. It’s 106! She’s burning up!” Umm, really? Sigh.

      • I would lie all the time and tell them she ate the damn food!! How can they expect her to eat after she just had poison put into her body. You are a good mamma bear!!

  5. I think you should lie all they effin’ time about whether she ate or not. They obviously DO NOT know your kid like you do! I would just tell them she ate and throw the damn food away!! Poor baby. How can they expect her to eat after the just digested poison in her little body. WHF is wrong with them anyway???

  6. I would just lie all the time and throw the damn food away! Poor baby! How can they expect her to eat after she just digested poision??? WTF!!! Give me a break! Keep your mama lion claws ready for action!! Just because they have medical degrees doesn’t mean they do the right thing for your kid OR that they know everything!!! Advocate well for your girl!! I know you are. : )

  7. They mean well, those doctors. but sometimes I think they forget they are often the “new kid” and need to learn the lay of the land from the people who’ve been there all along- mainly, the mama! Good for you for knowing your kid’s norm and advocating for it!!

  8. This is spot on. When I was in radiation therapy, everything smelled like chlorine. Growing up Dad used a product called Shock It, which was concentrated chlorine pool treatment. Shock It was used for two things – 1. To quickly chlorinate pools that were neglected for periods of time longer than normal. 2. To disinfect slaughter house floors. When I did radiation, the beam shot across my olfactory nerve causing everything to smell like chlorine. Weird part was – I was the only one who smelled it. I would get nausea just entering the room. Eating was so far from my mind and/or body.


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