It's been a good week at the Tate house. No chemo this week, just finger sticks for counts.
This week was a one week break for Elena, so her body could recovery from her first month of Delayed Intensification. On Monday, we went to get Elena's counts checked. Tuesday morning, we were told that the sample clotted and they couldn't do the test, so we went back again today. We should know sometime in the morning if her counts are high enough to begin the second month of Delayed Intensification on Monday the 26th.
Please pray that if her body is ready, we will continue with her treatment as scheduled.
The first month of this new phase has hit Elena hard both physically and mentally. She has been experiencing pain in her left hip as well as some back pain. The mood swings from the steroids have not been as intense. Praise God! She seems to get more sad than mad. Her appetite has definitely increased while on steroids (a common side effect). She seems to eat non-stop. : ) The most severe and aggravating side effect is sleeplessness. Elena has trouble falling asleep and then when she finally does, she doesn't stay asleep. Please pray that her sleep patterns will quickly return to normal as the steroids leave her body. She took her last dose of steroids Monday night. We hope to be seeing the side effects less over this next week.
Through all of this, we are continually amazed at Elena's attitude and strength. No matter how weak or tired she feels, she still doesn't want to miss school. We know that being with friends and around fabulous teachers is a tremendous help. Speaking of attitude, strength, and fabulous teachers....here's what one of Elena's PE teachers sent to me today.
"Just wanted to say Elena is absolutely amazing! I know you know that and I'm not telling you anything you don't already know! That child has every reason in the world to complain and not want to do PE but I have yet to hear one single complaint or have her not try what we are doing!!! Today we began kicking skills and were doing ball handling skills with our feet. A lot of the moves require quickness that (as you know) she doesn't have right now. Was she slack and not try everything? NO...she tried every single thing knowing already that she probably couldn't do it! Instead of just stopping she looked at me and said "I can't do that part, so I'll try this". She just automatically adjusted the activity to what worked for her but didn't choose a easy, slacker way out! She still chose something that she really had to work at. AMAZING! I just needed to share that with you."
Yes, I cried when I read it! We are so proud of Elena. We witness much more with her than anyone else has a chance to see. It is heartwarming to hear that she is handling all of this with such grace!
Now, onto an exciting event that took place before school this morning....Elena decided she was ready to cut her "whispies". Those few strands of hair that have never fallen out since her first three months of treatment. She has been pulling these back into a tiny ponytail. While her hair fell out quickly at the beginning of treatment, it actually stopped falling out about three months ago. Minus the whisps, all of the hair you see in the pics is new growth! Yes, her hair has been growing back to only fall out again. It has already started to come out. Elena is actually ready to be bald. So, we are enjoying this sweet soft duckling fuzz and are looking forward to a sweet bare head to kiss.
We'll let you know what we hear tomorrow about Elena's counts.
Thanks for taking the time to read this LONG post!
Thank you for being such faithful prayer warriors!
With much love,
"Be joyful always; pray continually" 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17