Well I was going to post about my first chemo week last week or over the weekend. But it got a little wacko last week, so I just didn’t get to it. So I began my IPT last Monday and had twice, on both Monday and Wednesday. Here, I am getting a nasty four-drug cocktail of 5FU, epirubicin, cytoxan, and gemzar. The first day was a little rugged while I was in the hole. I went a little too low. My heart was thumping against my chest and I was sweating up a storm. The real downside was that, when I was doing this before, when I was given the green light to eat, I could solid chow down. The only time I was really able to chow down. But not this time around. That was a definite disappointment but oh well .. maybe Wednesday would be better.
Or not. Tuesday I had received a bag of amino acids, then went back for chemo on Wednesday. I was already just feeling a little down physically. I was given my insulin and settled in for the ride. About 20 in, the nurse asked how I felt and I said I was probably 5-10 out and she said I was getting that look. So they checked my sugar and it was in the 60s with one glucometer but they didn’t believe it, so they used a different one and sure enough, my sugar was in the 40s. Needless to say, the other glucometer went in the garbage that day. So they administered my chemo drugs but that push takes quite some time. So down I went … like a rock! Damn but I was panting, sweating and my heart was ready to come out of my chest. All I could do was just sit there with my eyes closed and try to just breathe through it. The nurse kept asking if I was OK and I just nodded. When it was time to eat, I drank juice, ate some fruit, and thought I could eat some deviled eggs. Nope, too dry. So I proceeded to drink an Orgain and that felt like a fist in my stomach. That was it.
That day, I didn’t get my insulin until around noon and I was fasting. I also declined my dexamethasone because it messes with my vision. This was something I may never do again … refusing dex. I was done eating by around 1:30 but I never felt right the rest of the day. There were two things I did, that day, that I don’t usually do. There was this energy guy there who can actually create magnetic fields with his brain. He is from the N Georgia mountains (re: Deliverance … honestly … claimed to have gone to high school with one of the Dueling Banjos boys .. yikes!) and he is actually measurable. He has been heavily studied and he goes up to Duke once every other month to knock Lyme disease out of folks. Anyway, he put the palms of his hands about an inch away from the bottoms of my feet, with my shoes on, and the soles of those feet heated up immediately. He jolted me a few times and then there was a guy selling these machines called Theragem and he put that over my brain and my spleen for a bit.
Later, at home, boy did I get hit! I was freeeeezing and sweating, dry heaving, nauseous, feverish, YUCK! It dissipated during the night and when I woke up, I only had a headache right between my eyes … but the next day, it was time for my liver biopsy which was anything but smooth.
My showtime was 10am and it was, of course, fasting. What I didn’t realize is that my biopsy wasn’t supposed to occur until 1pm. And what actually transpired was it didn’t happen until 3pm. Fasting. And, true to form, my blood pressure was low … very low. I was dehydrated and have been for weeks, so they would not sedate me fully due to the blood pressure. This wouldn’t have been so bad if they only needed one sample. But they needed six.. OMG, I was raising hell and whining like a little girl! Finally it was over, but with so many sticks, they then had to observe me for four hours for possible bleeding. Didn’t get home till 8 or so.
So now those samples go to pathology to determine estrogen and progesterone receptor status as well as Her2neu. They also go to a lab called Caris for some genetic determinations of which chemo drugs will, or will not, work for me. Let’s hope the drugs I am on will match the ones I need to be on. Along with all this, I started getting my cold again.
Today, I got my bag of Vit C after deciding not to do chemo today because I just didn’t feel well all weekend. I got labs drawn today, so without knowing if my body was able to handle it, I just didn’t feel comfortable. Now I am back at the room and lying in the bed, exhausted. I am still getting weaker because I am still getting skinnier … losing more muscle. So now I am on the hunt to resume TPN because, without the fluid I am carrying, I am betting I am about 110, which is way too thin seeing I am not looking for a new career as an old, wrinkled supermodel.
So we will get lab results in a couple of days and hopefully all this discomfort is about cancer dying; not cancer winning. Boy, has this every been a ride y’all! And obviously, it is not over yet.
On a better note, this weekend I got to meet with yet another Southern cousin … this time from my mother’s side. I have only met him once before as a teenager. It was wonderful spending time with him and his wife. Here we are at the condo.