Abi completed her second treatment yesterday. We all recognize that we're early in the process, but she is definitely exceeding my expectations after two days.
The pain in her back is dramatically decreased.
Dr. McGaughey had suggested this might happen as the chemo drugs began to go after the cancer. Abi is encouraged on two fronts. One - the chemo is attacking her attacker (the main thing, or course), and two - she is getting relief from the pain she has been experiencing. Abi is tough. Seriously. But she has been taking prescriptions strength ibuprofen pretty regularly for the past few months to control the back pain. My sense is that the pain was worse than she was letting on, and it's clear that getting relief from that pain lifted her spirits yesterday.
She has a trusted advisor and friend in the treatment room.
Abi has made an immediate connection with the nurse that's administering her treatment. On the very first day, I saw how Abi sought Nila's advice, and how freely and directly Nila was willing to provide her perspective. Nila has been with Dr. McGaughey "for years." It's clear that Abi values her experience, her no-nonsense approach, and the way she advocates for her patients. It seems that Nila has warmed to Abi, as well.
Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition
We are focussing some attention on ensuring that Abi is getting the nutrition she needs. One of the side effects of the chemo is nausea, and Abi has experienced some of that. It hasn't been extreme, but it is clearly affecting her appetite. We'll be experimenting over the next couple of days to figure our what she likes and what she tolerates. One of the nurses suggested that Abi maintain a journal to record what she's eating, what exercise she's getting, when she's taking medication, etc., and how she responds to those factors. We'll begin that effort in earnest, in hope of figuring out what keeps her strong.
A Visit from Kylie
Last night, Abi's dear friend arrived to spend the weekend. It's really hard to overstate the incredible effect that Kylie has on Abi. Kylie may be the most positive, encouraging and energetic person you'll ever meet. She'll be hanging with Abi for today's treatment, going to the salon with Abi tomorrow, and generally helping to keep Abi's tank full of love, hope, and determination.
Again - we're only two days into treatment, with a LONG way to go, and we're certainly not overreacting. But we're encouraged. Please continue to keep Abi in your thoughts and prayers.
For Tanya - the word of the day is NUTRITION!