Monday, November 5, 2007

Sweet Up and Down

Where yesterday ended and today began is a bit of blur. Because of the time change and my going solo yesterday night - not to mention, I was beat - I went to bed as soon as Henry did last night. He was up frequently, moaning. My impression is that its mostly him dreaming about his days in the hospital as, for the most part, he drifts immediately back to sleep. He has to pee frequently as they're trying to clear his medicines through the use of intravenous fluids and he occasionally wakes up soaked. This is extremely unpleasant for him and he lets us know in no uncertain terms. Once he's changed though, he's on to some solid sleep for a bit.

Around 3am the wakings became more frequent and Henry more alert, complaining of his head and jaw hurting. First Tylenol, then an hour or so later, Oxycodone - much more effective. He was up early, at around 5:30am, and the morning until Tara arrived was pretty consistent; varying complaints of slight discomfort, e.g. "I want to go home", "I'm hungry.", "I'm not feeling very good", "I want my mommy", etc. We've learned that these phrases are like chants and are not always representative of his mood, but more of his general malaise and dislike of the hospital.

Tara arrived in good spirits and took over with Henry. I headed back to check out of the Ronald McDonald house as we've opted for driving back and forth - we've both found it more regenerative anyway. I've found the drives downright therapeutic.

My thoughts today were focused on the way the temperate fall has provided tremendously beautiful and slow-changing foliage, a wonderful blessing with as much driving as we have had to do. Many sunny days have provided picture perfect settings for this annual winding down of the year. So much of our lives are cycles; the seasons, the school year, our daily routines, beginnings and endings, ups and downs. I remembered a song from one of my favorite artists, Dave Matthews, its called 'Sweet Up and Down'. Then I was handed a pleasant little coincidence as that very song was next on the CD I was listening to.
"Up and down, inside out, outside in,
some you lose, some you win - for us all.
Up and down we go.

Bad times choke us all once or twice
On this Sweet up and Down..."

We've thankfully made it through the first part of this cycle of Henry's chemotherapy with few problems, none serious. Tonight we begin the next round; Etoposide and Cyclophosphamide (chemo drugs) and Mesna (to counter side-effects). The drugs they're about to administer threaten to make him pretty uncomfortable and will begin to inhibit his bone marrow growth resulting in a compromised immune system. He still doesn't like to wear the mask outside the hospital room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. First off, I want to thank you Bryan for opening up your heart and letting everyone in with your private thoughts and unfortunately...pains. I had no idea of the complexity of chemo. Since you say that this is going to be a more difficult round I will pray extra hard for Henry's comfort and speedy recovery.

I believe prayers are answered everyday.

Love, T