Chemotherapy Starts Tomorrow   September 28th, 2011

Today ended up being a quiet day that I managed to spend almost entirely with Linda and my children. Due to the on-going growth of my tumors in at least my right thigh (I have several that are now palpable (feelable), but were not two weeks ago), I was scheduled for a new CT scan to provide a better reference point for the post-treatment CT scan.

I’m pleased by the idea of getting a reference scan right before treatment because it will show more clearly how much tumor shrinkage has occurred due to treatment when compared to my first post-treatment scan in month and a half or so. If the scan from two weeks ago were to be used for this comparison, the tumor shrinkage amount would be skewed by the intervening new growth, and I would have to wait for the second post-treatment scan for more accurate results.

Anyhow, they ended up not having an available slot for a scan today, so I’ll be doing that early tomorrow morning instead, hence some extra hours with the family, in which we ran some necessary errands and enjoyed a nice meal out together – the last one for quite some weeks.

My treatment schedule in chart form - Day -7 is Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011

My treatment schedule in chart form - Day -7 is Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011

Tonight at 1am I start getting hydrated by IV in preparation for the start of my chemotherapy tomorrow.

During the day tomorrow I will receive my first of two doses of Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), a toxic chemical designed to  stop cell growth. It is toxic enough, I understand, that the nurses who bring in the one hour IV drip bag do so in a haz-mat suit to avoid exposure (since they have to administer the drug frequently). I hope to remember to take a picture of that.

I will get a second dose of Cytoxan on Friday. I will also start a five day course of Fludarabine tomorrow.

During the first three days of the chemotherapy I will be required to urinate (pee, piddle, wee wee, wizz, tinkle, etc.) every two hours, around the clock, in order to prevent Cytoxan-tainted urine from sitting in my bladder for long periods of time and causing bladder damage, and will also receive Mesna, a medicine intended to prevent the bladder from being irritated by such frequent use.

I understand, in addition to the other side effects from the drug (including major nausea), that being constantly woken up and urged to pee is one of the most exhausting parts of the treatment (the other being the IL-2 which comes at the end). Fortunately, I’m a peeing machine, so I should be up to the challenge. I should add that I will be heavily hydrated to ensure there’s enough liquid in my body to produce results every two hours.

I am guessing, based on what I’ve heard and read (and related above), Linda will be posting updates here instead of me until I’ve been off the Cytoxan for at least a couple of days.

Most patients appear to better deal with the Fludarabine which continues to be given for three days after the Cytoxan.

We’ll see.

 

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 22:24 and is filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses

September 29th, 2011 at 07:25
LaDonna Says:

Much love as you begin the steps in your journey to NED! I love you, and I wish whole heartedly I could be there to administer hugs as needed. Know that you and Linda and the kids are in my thoughts every hour of every day!

To NED!!!!!

September 29th, 2011 at 07:48
Judy Workman Says:

You are in my prayers as you begin this new phase of your recovery. Strength, hope and love are my wishes for you today and this week as you “pee” your way to good health! Know that many are thinking of you and keeping the whole family in our hearts.

September 29th, 2011 at 09:11
Lisa Amidei Says:

You are in my continued prayers. It’s nice you were able to spend a little extra time with family. The strength you give to each other is immense.

To NED!!!!!

September 29th, 2011 at 11:01
Cecil Berry Says:

Kiss ass Jake, be thinking of you.

Pee to NED.

September 29th, 2011 at 11:10
Barbara Leary Says:

I’ll add another term for peeing to your repertoire just in case you want to cover more bases :-) . In Hawaii it’s shishi, I think a derivative of a Japanese term.
Thinking of you often, lots of hope and prayers coming your way.

September 29th, 2011 at 19:12
Karen Says:

I’ve been following your journey and send you great thoughts and prayers on these next steps. You have such a fantastic positive attitude and I’ve taken that example on my own journey with this disease. Last Friday I had my axillary lymph dissection and have been recovering nicely at home with that lovely drain :)