Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Treatment Journey Begins

The time has come. The next leg of this race is upon us and starts bright and early tomorrow morning. For the next 6 weeks, Forester will receive daily chemo treatments and daily radiation treatments Monday through Friday. This is called chemoradiotherapy. He will also receive an additional chemo drug once a week. We have been told to expect a 6 hour day at the hospital each day. Anticipation of this regimen has created some anxiety in all of us, but the Lord has given us His peace, and we know that it's also just fear of the unknown. We look forward to tomorrow. The sooner we start, the sooner we'll be done! :o)

So, some details and prayer requests... I will list the drugs he will be taking and the side effects for the purpose of asking you to be specifically praying against these side effects - PLEASE!!

  • During the next 6 weeks, Forester will receive Carboplatin, the experimental drug, everyday. Likely side effects from this drug are nausea & vomiting, fewer red and white blood cells and platelets resulting in fatigue, weakness, and lowered immunity to fight infections. Also likely are abnormal levels of certain salts like potassium & sodium. Less likely side effects are rash, metallic taste, numbness in fingers and toes, hair loss, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, temporary change in vision, permanent hearing loss & balance problems, and mouth sores. Rare but serious side effects are liver damage, kidney damage, and Leukemia later in life.

  • The chemo drug Forester will receive once a week is called Vincristine. Likely side effects are hair loss, reversible nerve problems that may affect the way he walks or feelings in his fingers and toes, and constipation. Less likely side effects are jaw pain, headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, wrist or foot drop, double vision, abnormal walk with foot slap, difficulty with urination or increased desire to urinate, dizziness, and drop in white blood cells and platelets. The rare side effects are horrible, but I will mention them for the purpose of praying against them!! Rare side effects are intestinal blockage, tissue damage, seizures, vocal cord paralysis, difficulty breathing, inability to walk, decreased ability to hear (like hearing through water), damage to the optic nerve and possible blindness, and damage to the liver.

  • Forester will have radiation everyday, and the likely side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sunburned-like skin, hair loss and the others that were mentioned in a previous post.

Forester will take 3 other drugs over the course of the next 15 months, but we'll take it one regimen at a time. After this 6 weeks passes, he will have a period of rest for 6 weeks before starting the next regimen which will require hospital stays.

You may now better understand why it was a very bad day when I first heard of all these possible side effects. No one wants their child to experience hardship or sickness or lack any ability. BUT - the Lord God Almighty created Forester James Bradburn. This cancer was not created by Him but allowed by Him for reasons beyond our understanding. He is not surprised by anything, and He is certainly much bigger than cancer and any of these side effects of these cancer killing drugs. I believe with all my heart that God is the Healer and that He is healing Forester. I believe God is a protector and He is protecting Forester. I believe He can protect him from these side effects. Will you please pray with me? Print out this post, go down the list and ask God to spare Forester from these side effects and ask the Lord to protect the cells that HE created and kill any cell that is not supposed to be there.

Thank you for continuing on this journey with us. Thank you for praying for us and praying for our sweet boy, Forester. I promise to be in contact with April all day tomorrow and have her post updates about our first day of treatment.



The Q family said...

I will be praying faithfully over these things every single day. I am also praying sustaining peace and comfort for you all. I will pray that you all have a calmness and peace as you wait for the unknown that tomorrow brings!

Ellen said...

I am praying for Forester and each of you. I know that His grace will be sufficient and He holds Forester and each of you in the palm of His hand.

Heather said...

Praying today. Praying for preservation of everything good in his body and that the doctors will be astounded at the absence of side effects. Lots of love to you all.

Anonymous said...

We just found out on Wednesday that my husband has Leukemia and today is his 3 day for chemo. I admire your strength and don't feel as alone. Let us pray for each other and accept the gift of healing from the Lord.

Have faith in God...Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:22,24 NIV

I pray right now, that Forester Bradburn and Larry Sauppe WILL NOT have any long term effects from chemo or radiation and that their healing has already happen. We just need to go through the motions.

heather said...

Printed this out and posted on our refrigerator. We will pray faithfully. Thank you for letting us all in to help lift you up.
-the merriams

Callie Smith said...

We are praying.

Sam & Laurie Knowles said...

We are praying for NO side effects!!! Love y'all!

Mindy Wilson said...

I will be praying for you all as you begin this next part of your journey. Prayer for low anxiety on the part of Forrester and your family - and for great bed-side manner on the side of ALL of the nurses and doctors you will come in contact with! May God let you all feel the many prayers you have coming your way...