Later today Ethan will start his third day (third bag) of his 6 day chemo medication (called Ara-C) and he will get the last dose of his other chemo medication (as that's only a 3 day medication, called VP-16) and the OTHER chemo in this three-part mix was given to him on Monday and that was only a one day medication. Whew! So far, he's been great. No problems or side effects right now, but typically they start to appear a couple of days after the "three-day chemo" ends.... which will be today. So, if he responds like he did last time, I would expect the pain he experienced last time to begin surface tomorrow evening, getting potentially worse by around Saturday. Last time, you couldn't "see" any of Ethan's side effects, but the inconsolable crying was a definite clue that he was either experiencing jaw pain, nerve pain, esophagus ulcers and/or stomach cramping... all of which are side effects of some of his chemo meds. Now that we know what to expect, we can be a little more proactive with his pain and nausea medications, but still be in prayer that no other complications surface and that even with the side effects that we're anticipating, that they'd be minimal.
He's been so good the last few days.... laughing, babbling, playing with his toys. He's just so precious! I did notice a bit of a runny nose this morning and some discharge in one of his eyes. They are going to a culture to make sure it's not serious, but we think he may have caught a little cold. It's not in his chest, though, so that's good.
We haven't heard from Boston yet, but I expect to at least have an update on Friday. I was talking with one of Ethan's doctors yesterday about Ethan's spleen. It is possible that his spleen will need to be removed before his transplant. I asked the doc to give me a quick pro & con as to why Ethan would have to have his spleen removed and he said that the "pro" would be that because it's so large - and housing so many cancer cells - it could be beneficial to remove the spleen to get all of those "hidden" cancer cells out of his body, allowing the transplant to focus on the new, growing cancer cells. The con, obviously being that he'd be living without a major organ for the rest of his life (your spleen helps your immune system fight off infection), but there are many people that live normal lives without their spleen. So.... all of that to say, we still don't know if Ethan's spleen will need to be removed or not, but I'm feeling confident that either answer is okay. We just have to see what the folks in Boston have to say about it.
I'll close with a "thought for the day" that was sent to me via email...
The Will of God never takes you, where the Grace of God will not protect you.