Tough Cookie

19 Jul

Today was one of those days that seemed to rush by so fast due to so much going on, yet the minutes seemed to tick by so slowly.  But we made it and sweet Cora is sleeping next to me tonight. Dad is kicked out. 😉 (You decide who’s the lucky one. One of us will sleep all night. 😉 )  We started with Cora getting wiped down with pure acetone, including taping her eyes closed to get around them.  Followed by some liquid that only adheres to carcinoma cells, apparently. It has to sit for 6-7 hrs, so off we went to ophthalmology for three.

In another long appointment, we found out that sweet Cora needs part-time glasses. Oy.  Can I go back and buy them in Korea, please? If you have never been to Korea, the glasses there are amazing and super cheap! I wonder if I can give her prescription to one of my friends to get them for me. 😉  We won’t actually get them until late August because she needs to go back one more time.

Then we went to the surgery center.  Cora got a big dose of medicine that made her a bit loopy and they took her away from me 1 1/2 hours later. (*tears* *tears, tears, tears*  The nurse should not have been the one who had her in her arms walking away from her mama. Period.  “She was so good! She didn’t fuss at all!” That is because she has only had a mom for 3 months. She doesn’t know that that is not abnormal.  She SHOULD cry for her mom. She’s 5. 5 year olds shouldn’t just go to the nurse, even with loopy meds, willingly and walk away from mom.

The procedure took about an hour and 15 minutes.  What I saw when we were allowed to see her, I wasn’t really prepared for.  The doctor showed us pictures on her little camera, but we were a bit shocked. Cora was screaming and crying and thrashing. She gets Emergence delirium (Michelle, you were right!) and it is not pretty.  It takes her a good 30-45 minutes to calm down, but on top of the anesthesia irritation, she was grabbing the areas that were treated and crying a heartbreaking cry.

Unlike the last two sedation times, this one was a full breathing tube sedation and she was coughy and choking from that. It was horrible. And though I know that the wake up stage is just part of it and she’s not unusual for having a rought time of it, the added grabbing her pain mixed with the crying was much different than the last two times when it was just moaning, groaning and irritation. THIS included pain. Lots of it. That was hard. But after a good almost hour, she finally curled up and fell asleep on my lap.

This allowed us to get a better look at some of her laser spots.  This is an area on her lower back.

Each one of those rectangles is about a 1/2 inch long. She was treated in concentrated areas today.  Her lower back, behind her knees, under her arms, on her nose but the biggest, most strongly hit was around her neck, shoulders. Pretty much there is constant purple around her entire neck/shoulders/behind ears.  She was given a maxed out dose of morphine, tylenol and ibuprofen + a numbing cream for pain.

When she woke up, she was quiet, but didn’t cry.  She quietly drank some juice and ate some crackers and gradually started whispering. She fell asleep on the way home, but did eat a whole bowl of soup and even a chocopie. 😉

The doctor changed her protocol thoughts and wants us to come in in another month for another treatment and then watch the cancers fall off int he next 3 months. (Really?)  She said that the success rate is around 90%.  This of course will not stop Cora from getting new cancers, which are still growing.  She said we could likely be looking at another year before we do it again (after next month) because she treated so much. However, the down side of it is that my baby girl is beat up right now.  But if we can skip a YEAR of treatments, I think that outweighs it.

Cora’s bruising will last up to 10 days, I think, and then her skin will be darker temporarily in the areas that were treated, but will fade back as time goes on.  She’s so much stronger than her mom, that’s for sure!

(Thanks Dad for taking the boys to spend the night! SO SO helpful!)


18 Responses to “Tough Cookie”

  1. Wendi July 19, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    Sweet Coralie!!! Still had her chocopie fix. That’s is a girl after my own heart!!:):)

    • Jen July 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      Love chocopies. Cora just saw Avah’s kimchibap picture and said, “Oh, I love kimchi bap.” Thanks for the supper idea. 😉

  2. Jason Song July 19, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Hi there!…It’s Jason from Korea. I wrote to you about Korean morning toast the other time.
    If you send me her prescription either scanned (pdf file) or email or fax, I would love to send(fedex/dhl etc) Cora pair of glasses from Korea as a present. (please post may be the design type Cora or you wish..and the frame size which goes by Lense Diameter-Bridge Length-Side Length). I don’t wear glasses but about 90% of my collegues wear glasses here and they know good stores. My company email: Cheers..

    • Jen July 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      Jason, you are amazing! I deleted your email so you don’t get spam. I sent you a message, too!

      • Jason July 20, 2012 at 5:40 am #

        Noted and thank you…

  3. Kristen July 19, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Praying for sweet Cora and the whole family.

    • Jen July 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Thank you, Kristen!

  4. Alison July 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Prayers for sweet Cora!!

    • Jen July 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      xoxo Alison!!

  5. Michelle July 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    OH….so sorry to hear she had Emergence Delirium. It really is not like anything else. To see your baby with a look in her eye, look no other, is scary. Michael was thrashing, and trying to claw himself away. He was hooked up to lots of tubes too, so it was scary. I’m glad you know what it is, and can better understand it. We’ve been thinking a lot about all of you. Hope you’re all feeling a little better today, and that time has healed a little of yesterday’s pain. Let us know if we can help at all! My boys would love to play with your’s, so if you ever need some extra help, just let me know….for anything!

    • Jen July 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Thank you, Michelle! We’re putting vaseline on every 3 hours and keeping up with pain meds. She looks quite awful, but her spirit is high, so that’s great. Every time she looks in the mirror she says, “Oh cheese….” (I can’t help but giggle.)

      • Michelle July 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

        ahhh….too cute….when she’s says “oh cheese.” Let us know if you’re ever wanting a change of scenery. You’re always welcome to come over here and play (Ok…with the kids I mean..hee hee). We have lots of indoor stuff, and some stuff for the older boys too!

  6. stephanie July 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Praying for and thinking about your family in the days and weeks to come. You are right, she is one tough cookie. SO thankful she has the love and comfort of her mother and family at a time like this.
    Look for a fun package from us in the days to come!

    • Jen July 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm #


      What a blessing your voicemail was yesterday! Thank you for calling! I wish I had been able to hear your call. Let’s try to chat in the coming weeks. Still hoping we can meet in Chicago, but with Cora’s treatment in Aug and Leah’s surgery upcoming, we might plan in the fall? Let’s be proactive about it, though! I can’t wait.

  7. Mirande Bissell July 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    It sounds like a difficult and long day. I am so glad you have the support of a strong doctor and a loving extended family. Take good care of yourself, and I hope the doctor’s new thoughts about waiting a full year for the next treatment will prove to be the best course. I hope the pain lessens for Cora. Thinking of your family,
    Mandy (Baltimore, MD)

    • Jen July 21, 2012 at 2:44 am #

      Hi Mandy,
      Thank you so much for the encouragememt and kind words. I’m hoping waiting a year is a good idea, too. The pain is getting much less.

  8. nancy July 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    It so ~~~~sweetie cora!
    I know cora very well.. We are play to god for getting better cora.

    • Jen July 21, 2012 at 2:43 am #

      Thank you so much. I think you are Minna’s mom, correct? Thank you for the kindness you showed my daughter in Korea. xoxo! Much love to you!

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