It’s about 11:30am Saturday and the suspense is killing us. Carrie-Anne had her second “Red Devil” chemotherapy infusion yesterday and, so far, she’s experiencing the same low levels of soreness and high levels of exhaustion she endured two weeks ago. But her immune booster goes off at 3:00 this afternoon, and that’s when she gets the hurt. Right now the self-injector is attached to her left arm under a huge bandage and it’s blinking a constant green light to let us know it’s working. The needle is already inside her arm – so weird. At 3:00 it’ll beep a couple of times and then begin administering a booster to speed up her body’s production of white blood cells.
See, this “Red Devil” chemo takes her immune system down to almost nothing – it wrecks everything. So, this booster, 27-hours later, works to help her manufacture white blood cells more rapidly than normal, to build everything back up as quickly as possible. That’s her bone marrow, inside her body’s biggest bones. And she can feel it. The injector works for about 45-minutes, then it blinks red when it’s stopped. We check the gauge on the side – like a fuel gauge on a dashboard – and when it reads ’empty’ we remove the injector and wait for the pain.
If it’s like last time, it’ll build gradually. The soreness will be really noticeable at around 5:00-6:00pm this evening, she’ll be moving more slowly and then not at all by bedtime, and tomorrow morning she’ll barely be able to get out of bed. Then, again, if it’s like two weeks ago, the pain will slowly recede Sunday afternoon into Sunday night, and by the time she goes to bed tomorrow, she’ll be fine.
So far, none of the really awful things that typically happen with this treatment. No mouth or throat sores, no throwing up, no loss of appetite or digestive issues, no loss of taste, and she has complete control of all her functions. And, thanks to the Penguin cold caps, she still has all her hair. Praise the Lord. We know it could possibly change each time. It could be better, worse, or the same each time – it’s all different and nobody really knows. But our God is being very merciful to my wife. And we are grateful.
We did go to M.D. Anderson in Houston on Wednesday this week for a check-up and appointment with our plastic surgeon. Carrie-Anne is testing out really well, everything is on track, and her surgery was confirmed for July 13. This is to remove the temporary stuff and install the permanent stuff – and that’s all I’ll say about that. No drains this time, but it’s still going to take two to three weeks to recover. We’ll be in Houston from July 10-15 for that surgery and she’ll definitely miss the first week or two of work, which starts back up July 19.
I want to thank you again for all the kind attention you are giving Carrie-Anne and our family through this season. We are overwhelmed by cards, gifts, phone calls, texts, and food. Overwhelmed. Another undeniable witness to our gracious God who uses his people to take care of his people.