A place where I can chronicle my family's journey through cancer. A place where WE can discuss our concerns. A place where WE can inspire each other. A place for hope.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Shaved the head yesterday.
To say it was a little traumatizing would be a bit of an understatement.
It takes a little bit of adjusting, but I think these things just take a little bit of time to get used to.
Yesterday we packed all our clothes (like we were going on vacation or something!) and today we checked into our inpatient unit. It's been a long, busy, and heavy day. Right now, mama is hooked up to the IV machine for hydration therapy and will be until about 6pm tomorrow (it is now 830pm). The reason for this is because TOMORROW, she will be receiving the MEGA dose of chemo (Melphalan) to clear out her body. Apparently it is a tiny "push", but is potent enough to affect your taste buds for 6 months and give you mucositis. The half-life of melphalan is about 4 hours (?), so you want to get this out of your system A.S.A.P. (hence the hydration). So basically, mama bear will be forced to pee a LOT tomorrow. We do NOT want this chemo in her system. Get in, get out. She'll also be chewing on ice before, during, and after the administration of Melphalan. The reason for this is because, normally, you get mouth-sores (so bad that you have trouble breathing). What doctors discovered, though, that something as simple as chewing ice was enough to completely eliminate this very serious side effect from happening at all! What the ice does is it constricts the blood vessels in the mucus membranes of your mouth. Significance? The more constricted the blood vessel, the harder it is for the Melphalan to get circulated through that area. THEREFORE, ICE=GOOD!

Other than that, her room is MASSIVE. Its enough for two patients, but because of the unique circumstances of this ward (zero immune system), you aren't allowed to share your room with other people because of the risk of spreading germs, etc.

Tomorrow is a big day, will keep you updated.


  1. Hey there friend!

    Glad you guys are this far in the process. We avoided mouth sores after Melphalan with the assistance of good old fashion freeze pops! Most units have a patient fridge/freezer where you can keep stuff for your mom, might want to pick a box up for when ice chips lose their charm.

    Good luck and happy healthy thoughts from NY
    -Laura :)

  2. Good luck on this phase.... I know you are worried, but discuss your concerns with the team so they can help you keep your Mum's spirits up. The No M-M cheering squad is on the field!!

  3. Good luck to your Mama Bear, L.! I am sending positive thoughts from across the ocean...hope all went smoothly and perfectly today...:-)
    Florence, Italy