Tomorrow morning Becca will resume chemotherapy. Dr. Absalon (her primary oncologist) and the rest of the oncology team have decided to go to a protocol more like one used for a first cancer diagnosis of AML. Ara-C is still used but at a 10-fold lower dosage for a longer period. New to us is a drug called Etoposide. The mechanism of this drug is a toxin that impacts an enzyme with a very, very long name, that causes the DNA to unwind. This enzyme is used more heavily in cancer cells. The chemical makeup of Etoposide is derived from one of our local flowers. The American May Apple (Podophyllum Peltatum), which Lily K. can tell you, has its flower on the underside of its leafy canopy so it can attract ants and bugs as opposed to most other flowers that face skyward attracting flying insects. Thank you, Nanna... another useful fact I learned from you during home school. //End of paragraph. FYI, the ipad interface does not transfer any spacing or breaks when I publish.
During afternoon rounds today, my father was visiting and we got a pretty good scare. Becca woke up coughing, which is pretty normal, but as they were suctioning her, she got really upset and very alert. I was partially on the bed looking into her eyes and reassuring her, while trying to hold myself in check. I could see her mouth moving trying to speak/yell the word "DADDY!" That was also the last thing we heard her scream before they gassed her and intubated. I am still haunted by this.//
I know that not being here as often is very difficult for Trisha and Lily. Girls, I love you like crazy and wish a great number of things could be different and that we could be a whole family right now. I also know that the burden of not being able to stay with Becca is far greater than that of being here. As a family, we still have the strength of the sum of our parts regardless of any barrier or distance. I have two very strong daughters who have faced more demons than any kid should ever need to, and despite all the crap they have gone through, still retain their grace, compassion, and innocence. Trisha is a "tiger mom" but the soft cuddly plush kind, one of the kindest, loving, and selfless people I have ever known. I almost forgot to add forgiving, a bit of a prerequisite with me around; oh yeah and a gorgeous-super-sexy-rock-star. But seriously, Trisha, I love you to the moon....and back. //end emotional open letter :)