April 5, 2012
So do not fear, for I am with you
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
It has been a few weeks since we've posted any news, and actually it has been nice to have a little time for Madeleine to recover from her past treatments before getting ready for this next one. As you have probably noticed in the recent posts, Madeleine has really been enjoying being back in the pool, as well as resuming other activities. She has also continued to recover her strength and range of motion.
We met with her doctor on Wednesday, and it is now time to begin the next phase of her treatment. This coming Monday (4/9), she will begin a year-long series of Interferon treatments. Interferon stimulates your body's immune system and helps it to fight off any cancer cells that remain. During the first month, she will go to the hospital each day to have Interferon administered by IV (5 days a week for 4 weeks). Then, for the 11 months after that. she will have Interferon injections three times a week.
The doctor spoke with us about some of the challenges that are likely with this treatment. Madeleine will need to conserve her energy because Interferon (at this dosage) gives you symptoms that are very similar to the flu (fever, chills, body aches, etc.). This will impact her swimming, and other activities, and she will need to really find what she can do and what she can't do during this season. While everyone reacts a little differently, the doctor wanted us to be prepared for what is ahead.
The doctor also recommended that she try to look at this treatment one day at a time, or one week at a time. He said that those who do best are the ones who are able to make short-range goals and achieve them, such as, "I can make it through this week of treatment!" (rather than trying to take on the whole year).
In order to help with the side effects, they are recommending that the Interferon be given in the late afternoon each day so that Madeleine can try to sleep during the worst symptoms each night.
As you can see, we are heading into a new challenge. We would really appreciate your prayers...that Madeleine would have grace and strength during this season, and that the treatment will be effective. We appreciate all of you, and are so thankful for your encouragement and prayers.