Thursday, February 19, 2004

Prognosis: FAIR

Week #2 of Delayed Intensification #1

Let’s see, when I last exited this journal, we had just begun our journey into pill-taking Hell and couldn’t find our way out with a blowtorch and pith helmet. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that Friday morning I left for a four-day scrapbooking retreat and abandoned Blaine to figure out the best way to get the rest of the steroids in her. We did try gelcaps and I think those will work with more practice, but for the rest of the week, the method that worked best was crushing the pill, mixing it with a teaspoon of applesauce and a heaping teaspoon of sugar. And then Blaine wondered why she was too wound up to go to bed……

We had really psyched ourselves up for the mood swings and huge appetite that normally accompany steroids, and then high-fived ourselves when it didn’t happen. Of course, we forgot that steroids take a few days to clear out of a person's system, and the last few days haven’t exactly been rainbows and bunnies.

Monday night Kendrie and I were in the hotel restaurant, ordering dinner. She insisted on a grilled cheese sandwich, but then wouldn’t eat it because it was “too brown”. She did, however, LOVE the cheese sticks I ordered for an appetizer. However, she proceeded to peel all the breading off and just eat the cheese. So basically I paid $5.69 for four ounces of melted mozzarella. Then she insisted on another helping and knowing that money falls from trees, I ordered it. Naturally, she didn’t want it once it arrived. We left it on the table so the uneaten grilled cheese wouldn’t be so lonely.

Tuesday night we went out to dinner for Brayden’s birthday. While ordering the cheese stick appetizer, I turned to Blaine, in a smug and superior manner, and told him to watch how much Kendrie loves them. Yep, you guessed it, she wouldn’t take a single bite. Then it was “noodle soup” three or four times a day, and this morning she wanted Cheerios. Adamantly. And of course we were out. I offered Rice Crispies and Rice Chex, but were either of those good enough? No! The realization that I wasn’t going to pull a magical, hidden box of Cheerios out from behind my ear was enough to bring on the first, full-fledged tantrum.

There are three basic rules that the entire human race should follow in the pursuit of happiness. Rule one, never stand downwind of someone who spits when they talk. Rule two (for ladies only) never assume the toilet seat is down during the middle of the night. And Rule three, NEVER argue with a child on steroids. Even residual steroids. So being the rule-follower that I am, I told Kendrie to give me five minutes to put on my shoes and brush my hair, then we would go to the grocery store and buy the cereal.

As you might have guessed, during that five-minute span my older daughter’s school called to tell me she had a stomach virus and needed to be brought home. So there I am, in the middle of the school parking lot, with one daughter clutching her abdomen and groaning there was no way she could go to the store, and a VERY persistent four-year old who was NOT giving up on those Cheerios! What’s a caring mom to do? Yep, call her husband and make him cancel his lunch plans to drive all the way across town to buy Cheerios. If someone would invent a drive-through grocery store, they would make a mint.

So, the Cheerios bought us an hour or so of good behavior, then we had the inevitable meltdown. Are you ready for this? Kendrie said I wasn’t attending to business in the bathroom (ie., wiping her bottom) fast enough and that she was missing “Max and Ruby”, heaven forbid! She went into complete hysterics that I wasn’t faster, and wound up lying on the hall floor, crying, screaming, and kicking her legs for twenty minutes. Pointing out to her that actually this tantrum was the reason she was missing “Max and Ruby” seemed kind of useless, so I just sat there for a while. Then I called Blaine and held up the phone so he could enjoy the concert as well. (Poor guy can’t catch a break, even at work!) Finally, when the screams were less frantic and I could hear the huge gulps of air in between, with the quivering sobs starting, I picked her up, carried her to the chair, and rocked with her until she was calm again. I’m hoping the ‘screaming baby’ border I added to the site is only temporary. Although getting to rock and cuddle with her afterwards is almost worth enduring the tantrum.

I’m guessing all the steroids will be out of her system just in time for us to start taking them again next Monday. But we’ve bought mini m&m’s for her to practice pill-swallowing and are hopeful we can at least avoid THAT part of the drama.

I probably could have sat back and laughed at all of this (after all, there are days I want to lay on the hall floor and kick my legs, too) but I had something happen today that made everything more realistic. I was filling out some paperwork for insurance, and had copies of her medical records from the oncologist. Being the proactive parent that I am (ie., nosy) I was reading all of her records. There were no surprises in there until I reached the final page, with the physician’s over-all diagnosis and assessment, and there, on the line following the word “Prognosis”, was FAIR. FAIR? That really caused me to catch my breath because of course I’m still holding on to the 80-85 percent survival rate that we are all quoted.

FAIR. Wow, that really hurts.




I wouldn’t have thought it was possible for Mom to douse me with Purell any more than she already does, but when my sister came home from school with some sort of upset stomach, I think my mom was looking to set up an IV line of antibacterial soap on all of us! Geez, mom, relax!


For once, mom was force-feeding someone else in the family medicine instead of me!

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