Chemo resumes

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 :)


Christine, Randy said...

Beautiful love letter to your girls, Ethan!
Thanks for being so transparent and an awesome Dad.
Blessings ~ Christine Lothrop

Carol and Zachary said...

I'm a parent volunteer in Trisha's library. Your family is in my prayers every day. Thank you so much for your updates. I can't imagine what you all are going through on SO many levels, but it is clear that all of your girls are lucky to have you! Sending prayers and wishes for all the best.

Momto3awesomekids said...

I love to read your updates bc they are laced with wit, humor & love. Thank you for keeping us all up to date with how Becca & the rest of the family are doing. Please know that there are so many prayers being sent up for you all.

pam's poppinpastels said...

What a beautiful heartfelt letter. Your deep love for each other and strong family bond will be the strength that pulls you through each day, one day at a time.
Thank you for the updates and sharing your heart with us.
Peace and prayers
The Dickerts

The Paeltz Family said...

A heartbreaking and beautiful post. You all have been through more than any of us can even begin to imagine. The kids and I drove past the hospital yesterday on our way to the zoo. Camden begged and begged to be allowed to visit Becca. He really wants to sit by her and read her books because he thinks she must be really bored and sad laying there all day. We are finishing up our goodie basket and crafts for Becca, so we will get it to you all shortly! Prayers!

Maria and Matt said...

Wow, you really know how to write! You are all amazing, and the strength of your love will pull you through. Thanks for your candor and the updates! I'm sorry for these demons and nightmares. I wish you could save all your precious ladies from this pain!!! We love you all so much!!

Unknown said...

Your writing is so clearly from the heart, gut and brain. Thanks, if that is the right word, for making this more vivid for those from far away who love all of you. Laurel

Timmiera said...

Ethan, I can only imagine how frightening and overwhelming it must have been to have Becca's "scare". A very positive part that sticks out to me is that she saw you and knew you were there. Keep talking to her because I know she hears you.
As for Trisha, you nailed it! Tiger mom she is! It is hard for her to be away but as you know, you do what you have to do. Trisha is a so strong (and loving and caring and yep she can rock some bright blue boxers too!) #giggle, giggle!
Keep watching that baby and talking and singing. As her strength returns she will remember!
Love and light,

Renee and Jon said...

You are leading your family through the most difficult waters and with such love and grace. Nothing will build up a family more (and especially of girls) than their dad and husband building into them with such loving words of affirmation.

We wish we could take it all away, but know that Jon,Mason, Avery and I are with all of you every step of the way.
Love you all,

Kari Hughes-Wint said...

Ethan, my name is Kari Wint. I volunteer in the LES medIa center, where I met Trisha. My husband and I have been so touched by your story, that we are running the Flying Pig marathon and raising money for CancerFree KIDS in honor of Becca! to date, we've raised $665! Could you please tell Trisha that good news? And give her a big hug from me!

Kim said...

Hello! I am a kindergarten girl scout troop leader for a group of girls at Becca's school. Sydney Barrett is in our troop. Our girls are going to join in the "Bracelets for Becca" movement started by Lily, Kate, & Sydney. Thank you for the updates on Becca. You really are an excellent writer! Please know our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

becca.blog said...

That is awesome news! Thanks so much for doing the Flying Pig for CFK... what a wonderful organization. Since we don't run (unless someone's chasing us), we do the Butterfly Walk each year for CFK. It's a little more our speed :), but we admire you for having the stamina to do the Pig. Thanks for the hug, too, Kari.
Take care,

becca.blog said...

Great that we will have lots more bracelet-makers! Deb told me that you guys will make one for every student in Becca and Sydney's class. How fabulous! Some of my co-workers saw my "Bald is Beautiful" one that the girls made, and they would love to purchase one. You might have a little business on your hands!