Round #2, time flies....
The weeks are starting to move at a normal pace now. I’m feeling pretty good at this point prior to treatment again. My appetite has been really good throughout and the lingering tiredness comes and goes. Overall, doing well.
Prepping for chemo on Wednesday, I start by taking an anti-nausea medication in the evening and will stay on it until 3 days after the chemo. There are 2 prescriptions I can alternate, as needed:
ONDANSETRON or PROCHLORPERAZINE were prescribed. They each have an 8hr dosage, so I was told I can alternate every 4 hrs between the two.
I didn’t sleep all that well the night before. No real reason. I wasn’t nervous, in fact, I wanted to get it done as soon as possible. But, my mind was racing most of the night.
WEDNESDAY - CHEMO #2
My brother joined us today for our trip in to NYC, even though I warned him there would be lots of waiting and sleeping, but he was good with the idea of an afternoon nap. 💤
Prior to starting chemotherapy my blood needs to be checked to get an “all clear” from the doctor. Primarily, we need to check for low or lower white blood cell counts. If they are too low I may not be able to get the chemo as it will have an adverse reaction and possibly send me to the ICU.
Every other visit we meet with the doctor/nurse practitioner to provide a status of my progress. Since last treatment I gained 2lbs, which they loved, my appetite really hasn’t changed much (good or bad LOL).. we went through my overall health and progress. The blood work did return a slightly lower white blood cell count, so I now need an additional injection of GRANIX for 4 days after chemo. GREAT!! Now, I am up to 3 injections a day.
The more we waited to be called back to treatment area, the more I realized how many people were there waiting for their own treatment. It is unbelievable how many people are going through their own battles. This is not a disease but an epidemic.
By the time we were called back to to treatment area it was around 2pm. Considering we arrived at the hospital at 730am, I was ready to get in and get out.
Our nurse, Mary, seemed a bit disheveled. Not really what I needed at the moment. It took about 30min after being called back to get started. We started the same as before. I napped for a bit, chatted, napped, chatted, etc...
Side effects this TIME
Thick Tongue Syndrome - One of my side effects that impacts about 5% of patients is a heavy tingling in the tongue, along with mild swelling. It wasn’t as severe this time around. I’m hopeful this will go away sooner, since it is really tough sounding like Sylvester The Cat.
Muscle Spasms - Involuntary muscle spasms start about halfway through treatment. My feet, hands, neck, etc. start twitching a bit first. It’s not painful. In a strange way, it’s cool. It lasted last time for several hours after I get home.
Finished for the Day
They left out one part of the treatment due to the low WBC, which is apparently common. I was then hooked up to the pump to deliver 152mg of 5-FU. We are good to go :)
We finally got home around 730pm after making a quick stop to pick up food. No worries there, I got home had 2 slices of pizza and a couple meatballs. No nausea, just a bit tired.
The next 2 days with the pump went well, no additional issues.
FRIDAY - PUMP Disconnect AT HOME
Normally, once the pump completes patients head back to the hospital to get disconnected. In our case, my wife (Lori), took the time to get trained by the nurses so we could avoid the extra trip in. She is such a ROCKSTAR!! The nurse practitioner ordered a kit that was delivered by the pharmacy.
Although she was nervous, it didn’t show. She disconnected the line, infused SALINE solution first to clear the lines, then HEPARIN to prep the port for next treatment. Finally, she removed the needle...
All done for 2 weeks WooHoo!!