Thursday, March 19, 2009

or so it goes

Hello everyone
We are scurrying around like busy bees trying to make certain we are ready for next Wednesday.  It will be hard to prepare for a PET scan and then a CT scan and then bloodwork, and then a visit with the doctor and then the infusion of the first chemo.
Low carb diet Tuesday, minimal exercise for the PET scan, nothing but water after midnight, then as soon as the ct is done I will have to eat etc etc prior to the chemo.
I was fortunate to talk last night with Myra's son Larry, who is a chemo/oncologist in Alaska. He was quite in agreement with the treatment plan, he did say that it was a very aggressive chemo plan. He said this would only be given to someone who is young and healthy. 
The two drugs are carboplatin and taxol, the carboplatin can cause peripheral neuropathy, which in extremes affects the use of fingers, it will be closely watched for this. This is also the one that causes the nausea and vomiting, and the drop in the blood counts. So during specific times I will need to avoid being in public as I am more prone to serious infections when blood counts are low. Those days are day 10-14.
Taste is also affected, which accounts for weight loss and in some weight gain.
The other drug is Taxol, and this one also drops blood counts, and causes hair loss, pain in muscles and bones. The big deal with this drug is that it can cause anaphylactic shock. For this reason fairly high doses of steroids are given the night before and the day of each infusion.

The first infusion is done very slowly because of the risk of anaphylaxis so it will take 5 hours. We will then drive home, as the doctor said that the second day I will likely feel worse, than the first day.  One the first day after the chemo infusion I will recieve an injection of Neulasta, which is a medication to stimulate the bone marrow. This drug can also cause bone pain as the centre of the bones is where the blood cells are formed. Larry told me that it was a good thing when you get bone pain with these injections as it was a sign that your bone marrow was healthy and responsive.
Because we will get this here in Bandon, I mentioned at the hospital that I would need it. Debbie looked up the price. This one shot costs 3100.00.....WOW.  Not a vial you would want to drop on the floor.

I can imagine that the chemo costs more......?
Well though I am sure it seems vain I am having the corn row braiding done with my hair in Monday and that way I can save the braids and use them later one. I guess to me it is a level of control
The photo enclosed is my little birdie suburb, but you will notice nary a bird. Hope its just a  matter of time 

Love and peace

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