My friend asked me what the chemo regimen was like each week, so here goes-
Wednesday: Blood work-checking for platelet and Red Blood Count. Pack my bag for the chemo room which includes a pack of Twizzlers and a downloaded movie (nothing dark and depressing Lis). Wednesday night, I am always a little nervous anticipating the next day’s events. I know what it’s going to be, but I still get nervous the night before.
Thursday: Arrive at 730 so I can get one of the 11 chairs in the chemo room. Sometimes, it’s so packed, there is very little for visitors. Re-check of the blood work, if the numbers were not great from the day before. First med is the steroids and the anti-emetics. Takes about 45-hour to run that through. I usually get a little tired during this. Also, 2 liters of hydrating fluids get pumped through. (Today’s Movie was Shaun of the Dead)
Drug 2 is the Carboplatin. The Dex (steroids) are to help with the nausea of this. One of my chemo friends calls the Dex her 10 Little Indian drug since it makes her feel like she can do 10 things at once. Carboplatin has the most nausea side effects. Next treatment will be Carbo #7, so that means we have to start watching for allergic reactions.
Drug 3 is the Gemzar (Gemcitabine). This one goes through in 30 minutes and one of the primary side effects to this is rash and fever. I usually get a nice red face on day 2. Combined with the steroids, I look like an Oompa Loompah on day 2 (Friday). One side effect of Gemzar is thinning hair. The other side effect is tongue and mouth sores…serious fun!
Drug 4 is the Avastin. This is a drug that is supposed to stop the growth of new blood vessels. I love this line from the side effect warning…
“Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not.” The life-threatening side effect? Yikes!
Once all is done, they disconnect the port and I head out! I usually have some extra energy right at the end, so it’s a good time to run errands. Crash time happens a couple of hours later. But then, I usually have the insomnia the first night again. When I get Carbo, I have to take steroids for three days post chemo which messes with my sleep big time!
Most of my side effects seem to be nausea and fatigue. Not very glamorous, but I just deal with it.