Day three : feeling run down

Just a quick update here.  I’m in the chair – been here for about an hour and a half.

On day one, I was feeling pretty good through the day until the nausea hit a little bit around 6:30pm.  Not too bad, but definitely off.  Low grade headache.  Energy vacillating between low and high, thanks to the steroids + exhaustion.

On day two, I started feeling off pretty much as soon as I got home from chemo.  Headache is still ever-present, but still not very bad.  I feel a little like I had a vaccine shot yesterday or something – you know how it feels a little like a low grade cold?

Today is day three – I woke up feeling kind of crappy, and really just wanted to crawl back in to bed.  I still wouldn’t call this “bad” by any stretch, but my energy is absolutely down and I’m feeling weird.  My hands were shaking mildly this morning.

I’m eating, though less than usual.  This morning I had a bowl of instant oatmeal – 2 packets.  The first two or three bites tasted good, but after that I had to make myself eat the rest.  I got it down okay – I didn’t have to “choke it down” or anything – but I really didn’t feel motivated to take any more bites either.

Meh – more later.  Rest now.

– C

Chemo day 2, volume turned to 11.5 !

Hey all!  I guess this is my inaugural post here at the blog.  Really, this is my first blog of any substance – so bear with me if I’m a bit clunky at first.

Today’s chemo went quite a bit faster than yesterday, even with the introduction of my third drug (Bleomycin), which took an extra half hour.  When they started me out yesterday, it was at a rate of around 500ml/hour.  Throughout the day as I was able to handle the dosages, they moved me up to 600ml, then 800ml/hour.  After I woke up from a nap in the afternoon, I noticed it’d been moved to 1000ml/hour, and the pump was noisier (and angrier) than it’d been all day.

Today, they moved me to a two pump system, and had one dedicated to saline, while the other was dedicated to the revolving tray of drugs.  The saline was running almost all day at a constant 550ml/hour, and the drugs were switched in and out running at 600ml/hour.

Combined volume:  1150ml/hour

Before starting me on the actual chemo drugs, they also give me a couple anti-nausea drugs and a steroid – each of which comes in a bag of fluid that’s between ~200ml and ~500ml.  The chemo drugs Cisplatinum (yes, made with real platinum!  heavy metals administered directly to the heart is the straight dope!) and Etoposide (aka “VP-16“, which sounds like a Nazi mind control drug or something) are in 500ml bags except the Bleo, which is 200ml (quick!).

Anyway, the whole process has been interesting (from a scientific “I’m learning new things” point of view), terrifying (from a “2 years ago my mom was also just starting chemo, and didn’t make it” point of view), and also reassuring (from a “will you just look how many damn people care about me!” point of view).  So far, it hasn’t been terribly bad physically – though I’m still pretty sure that’s going to get worse.  Yesterday evening, I had some mild nausea, but didn’t vomit or anything – just feeling really off, and in a completely unfamiliar way.  It didn’t start until after 6:30 yesterday, but I think I’m already starting to feel it today.  I’ve also had a low grade headache since yesterday.  Really, I had one all weekend from the anxiety, but this is also… different than a “usual” headache.  Thankfully so far, it is just sitting around in the back of my head, annoying me with its persistence and  reluctance to die down – but it isn’t a bad headache – it doesn’t really hurt – just annoying… all… the… time.

On that note, I’m going to stop rambling and try to relax.  More later, and thanks for reading!

– C

Chemo Day 2 – keeping’ the faith

11:15am
Back in the saddle today. They are doubling up the pumps on Chris in hopes that they can push his 3 drugs plus saline simultaneously and save him a little time. We are still looking at 4-5 hours in here all told, but that’s better than pushing up toward 6 hours, since he gets an additional drug today, his bleomyicin which he takes once a week.

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The First Oncology Appointment

Hello beloved family and friends,

I know many of you have been waiting on an update on Chris this week. Thanks so much for your mails and texts and outpouring of love and support. This week feels like a year has passed, it’s just so much at once, but your kindness and positive words have kept our spirits up.

So first, Chris is recovering well from surgery. It’s taking longer than we thought (so much of the paperwork was like “You might want to take the day off from work.” No shit? How about the rest of the week!), and he is still in a fair amount of pain; but that has mainly to do with the fact that the muscles where the incision was made are so integral to every kind of movement, and it is a 4″+ incision. So whether he is sitting, laying, or walking, it is easily strained…even laughing hurts. So he moves very slowly and nurses the pain with percocet and ice. Continue reading