Words have meaning – but meanings change with information.
Growing up, if the lead actor or actress in our movies has cancer, you are aware of the imminent plot twist. Cancer had a meaning, a pretty strong one. But we now know that most cancers are curable. That is one of the first things our doctors in North Hills Hospital and in UTSW reminded us. They told us that certain cancers which were terminal 10-15 years ago, are now treated with mostly outpatient care. Rachana’s diagnosis and her treatment so far is no walk in the park, but we are confident that we’ll overcome this. But if you don’t get the opportunity to hear these things, don’t have friends or family who have successfully overcome this and only associate cancer with what you heard 10-15 years ago; the word cancer hits you very hard, it’s meaning is devastating.
We haven’t told Rachana’s parents that she has cancer. They know that it’s a blood related disease and Rachana will be in the hospital for 4 weeks and possibly taking pills for 2-3 years, i.e. they know everything except the word. We will break it to them after they see the care she is getting. The facility, the doctors, the round the clock checks and precautions and the reports are things we hope will brace them for impact. But it’ll still be rough, it’s their baby after all. They arrived in Dallas, from India, this evening. It was a very emotional visit to the hospital.
Last evening Rachana was very tired and the doctors said that it’s because of the dropping blood counts. This morning (Apr 6) they started off with a unit of platelets because her platelet count was at 16k and also because they had a planned spinal chemo procedure. Platelets are given before a procedure so she can recover faster. Before the platelets transfusion they gave her some steroids to control the reaction she had during a earlier platelets transfusion. The spinal chemo injection went well but was painful. This will be repeated on day 28. She got her second dose of chemo this evening, which will repeat for 2 more Wednesdays.
A very tiring day for Rachana, the procedures, the chemo, the emotional parents visit. But on the bright side, her mom is here and that will surely bring her more joy.