Chemo 1 and 2
Good afternoon / evening to you all.
Chiane will start chemo tomorrow if all the pre-tests (liver/kidney and her swollen head) are all good.
The first Chemo will be Methotrexate (MTX) and Vincristine (VCR) and both will be given tomorrow as a high dose.
We are not going to get in to technical but give you a basic overview.
Chemotherapy is a name for a group of drugs put together to destroy cancer cells or “cell poisoning”. Chemotherapy attacks “rapidly dividing cells” in the body damaging them, so they can no longer divide or grow. Chiane has grade 4 cancer and it is dividing rapidly so the chemo will attack the cancer in her brain.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy cannot tell the difference between good, healthy cells and cancer cells so some normal cells, which divide rapidly, are also damaged as a side effect. What type of healthy cells are affected by chemo?
1. Bone marrow (the factory producing blood cells) as it divides rapidly and includes cells such as White cells (fighting infection), red cells (carry oxygen) and platelets (play part to clotting which is important for when you cut yourself to help you stop bleeding)
2. The cells in the lining of the gut and mouth are fast growing cells. This is why people vomit and have diarrhoea; and develop a sore mouth (thus why the don’t want to eat).
3. Hair follicles. (resulting in hair loss) or as it is known Alopecia.
The goal of the first 2 drugs is to not “stop” the cancer as it will also “stop” all the healthy cells… It is used to “slow down” the rapid growing cells.
Another 2 factors to bear in mind which I will go into tomorrow are:
1. The fluids in the brain protecting the brain and
2. Hormones & glands & lymphs.
On Tuesday I will go into the “anti dope” for MTX and VCR and why that is needed.
We would also like to thank Nico & Antonette for their help today, and everyone from their cell group that visited us; as well as Dennis and his team that prayed for Chiane. They brought us frozen cooked food, rusks (beskuit) and meat that was already barbecued! Thank you sooo much for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will come in handy in the evenings when we get home from the hospital.
Thank you everyone for your continues prayers and we are ready to start! We have to believe she will make it, we have hope and we have made up our mind! Now it is going forward and not looking back! While Andia took Estian and Chiane to go and play with friends, I bought the first supplements for Chiane’s treatment that have been approved by GOSH.