Wednesday, May 07, 2008

One tough cookie!

Imagine the worst tooth ache or mouth sore you have ever had. Take that, multiply it by 20, and then imagine that the pain is all over your mouth, throat, down your esophagus and in your stomach. This is called mucisitis and it is caused by one of the chemo’s Erica is being given.

Imagine waking up every morning knowing that all you have ahead of you for the day is a constant battle against pain, nausea, and the sleepiness and “drug brain” that comes with all of the pain medications. This has been Erica’s reality for the past week and will be her reality for the next week or so.

Imagine being a prisoner of your body. Not knowing from one moment to the next whether or not you are going to have to throw-up, use the bathroom, or succumb to sleep with absolutely no warning.

Her BMT team comes in every day telling her that she is doing well and that everything that is happening is “to be expected,” but that doesn’t help relieve her pain. She is facing each day with all the strength and determination she has, but as each day passes, it gets a little less.

The past few days have been a balancing act of finding the proper dosage to manage her pain but not so much that she is loopy and out of it. We have yet to find that right balance. There are moments where her head is clear and her pain isn’t too bad. But the majority of her time right now is spent sleeping off all of the meds. All that she can really do right now is just get through it.

Her white blood cell count will start coming back up (it is currently at .1 and we need it to be 4.0-11.0) and once that happens her body will start healing itself and she will start to feel better. The plan is for her body to start healing mid to late next week, to re-introduce foods and have her keep them down, and to keep her infection free. Once that happens she will be able to head home.

There is no way around it, the girl is one tough cookie. She has her weak moments but I think, scratch that, I know they are fewer than most of the rest of us would have. In comparison to the darkest days of her chemo-induced depression back in Boston, she is coping very well. However this round of nastiness (sorry but there is no better word to describe it) is throwing her for a loop.

Since her white blood cell count is still non-existent, visitors are still a no-no, but rest assured that she is being very well taken care of by her Mama. Judy is an angel in the true sense of he word and is doing an amazing job caring for our girl. If any of you have a moment, please take the time to send her a little note or picture. Mail time is her favorite time of the day and she still has plenty of wall space here in E131.

Erica’s mailing address:

Stanford Hospital and Clinics
Attn: Erica Murray, E131
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305


Jill Bernstein said...

Hi Erica, I graduated from Fletcher in 2006 and learned about you through the Fletcher network when you were originally diagnosed with leukemia. I just wanted to let you know that I continue to check your blog on a regular basis because I find that your strength and spirit are amazing. I would imagine that at the moment you don't feel too strong, but please know that in addition to your amazing friends and family, there are people like me who you have inspired in various ways who are rooting for you and praying for you in these tough times!
All the best!!!!
Jill Bernstein

Anonymous said...

Hi Erica, I live in CT and send "Happy Mail" to kids that belong to Hugs & Hope an organization set up to do this. I found your web page from the Save 1 person save the world column on my Joke for the Day page. I will add you to my prayers and mail list. Hang in there

artineh said...

Hang in there, Erica.

Thanks for the address, Jamie.

Anonymous said...

You've inspired me and given me courage to send out for a Bone Marrow Donor Kit. I wish you the strength and endurance through this time.

Joanna Ayres