Diarrhea is now under control after a day of mayhem. But sore throat/ulcer is not going anywhere. She is having discomfort much deeper in her throat and the doctors say it’s likely that the ulcers are not just in the mouth but perhaps through her entire GI tract. She had a reasonable breakfast but lunch and dinner were negligible. For dinner she craved for garlic naan. I got some from a desi place but she hardly ate a morsel. We go through a full routine of mouth washes and oral gels to numb the mouth as much as possible before each meal. The doctor asked us not to worry about her diet as she is likely to get her numbers up in a few days and then her appetite will return when her body fights back the ulcers.
Hair loss is accelerating each day. Soon she will have to cut her hair and perhaps shave as it’s getting patchy in spots. I dread the day we have to to this. Everyone, including me, is telling her not to worry and that it’s temporary. But calling it a cosmetic issue does very little to comfort the psychological impact of loosing something that is obviously very important to ones personality and presence. But at the same time, it’s up to us to make something important or not. I hope Rachana continues to focus on the war and care less about this particular battle.
Two issues today which we’ll know more about tomorrow. 1) The doctors found traces of blast cells again in her blood again, which was controlled quite early on with chemo. They order a flow cytometry test and that will tell us, hopefully by tomorrow, if this is a potential issue or just a side effect of healthy blood counts rising. 2) She has been complaining about blurry vision for a few days and today she was a little more forceful about it as she was having difficulty reading on her phone and was just irritated. It was around 9 pm that she complained and the on-call doctor immediately ordered a brain CT scan and a brain MRI to eliminate the possibility of leukemia reaching the CNS (Central Nervous System), which he is not expecting as the spinal fluid test a week or so ago was negative. It’s going to be a long night. He said he’ll order an Ophthalmologist to visit her early morning to make sure this is all just a temporary side effect of chemo and not a larger issue.
We all wish, pray and hope that all these things are temporary side effects and today’s chemo, which went smooth, is the last dose of the induction phase. On Tuesday she’ll have a biopsy to check the % of leukemia cells in the bone marrow. The doctors might decide to keep her for 1-2 more chemo cycles depending on the bone marrow results. If everything is good and the blood counts rises she’ll be home sometime next week.