(post by Tammy)
As much as we tried to fight it, we started Round 3 of chemo a little on edge. We were sad to have to go back early and being separated as a family again. Natalie is back in the same room she was in for the last round of chemo. I actually like the room because of the great view and since Natalie did so well Round 2 of chemo in that room. However, one of the nurses told us she wished they had given us a change of scenery since it is pretty hard to be stuck in the same room for too long.
Natalie is doing better than we expected with the eye drops. She is taking them pretty well. She actually drew a big picture of an eyeball and sticking her own hand-made eye drop stickers on the eyeball each time she gets one over with. She is counting down the days until next Tuesday when she is done with them for good for this round of chemo.
I can tell that she is more tired starting this round of chemo because she slept in until 9 am Friday morning. I don't know if it's because she was more active when she was at home this round of chemo or because of the higher dosage of medication she is getting. She and Sean played non-stop together all day long when she was at home. They built a cave under the sleeper sofa, painted, wrote a story about their special stuffed animals, and even wrestled. The wrestling didn't go well with me. I put and end to that right away and had to remind both Sean and Natalie that Natalie is still in treatment and both had to be careful.
On Friday, I felt really down because right when we got up, the flow of visitors began. It was overwhelming. First, the custodian came in without knocking to empty our garbage. Then, the food server barged in with our tray of breakfast. After that, a nursing student came in saying that she and her instructor were helping out our nurse with Natalie for the day. Then, our patient care assistant came in with a guy that he was training for the day. The nutritionist and social worker came in after that. Then, the hospital chaplain came in with another chaplain. I lost it around 2 pm because at that point I could tell that even Natalie was overwhelmed. When the nursing student asked me if there was anything we needed I told her, "Yes, we would like some peace and quiet!" I felt bad but the crowd did leave us alone after that.
There were two visitors that day that did lift up my spirits. They came and gave instead of asking me a million questions. The first was Yolanda, Natalie's first year medical student buddy. She gave me time to go out for a nice walk while she painted and played with Natalie. She even played "elephants" with Natalie and her 8 stuffed elephants, talking in little elephant noises with Natalie. I love it. I can tell Natalie likes her a lot because she let Yolanda take one of her elephants home for a sleepover. The only condition was that Yolanda had to write her a story about everything Elloro did while he was away. The second visitor was Christina, one of the nutritionists who comes and plays with Natalie. She let me go out to take a break too while she made valentine hearts with Natalie for an hour.
We are hanging in there. We definitely need continued prayers for strength to get through this and prayers for Natalie to respond as well as she did last round of chemo. That was a miracle round for us!