I am very overdue in posting an update on how things are going, I’ll try to be as concise as possible. I’ve had 3 cycles of chemo, we began on 4/7, had our second treatment on 4/28, and today (5/19) is the third.
You may remember from a post following my first treatment that I was dealing with a LOT of side effects. I describe it this way, “My body saw the two page list of side effects and decided to make the most out of the chemo experience and pretty much get all the side effects. Except losing my nails, I still have my finger and toe nails.” My body’s response led my oncologist to reduce my dose of Carboplatin and Taxotere by 15% for my second cycle, chemo has a standard dose that is determined by weight. Different people process the chemo differently so some need a smaller dose, some need the standard amount, and some need a greater dose.
The dose reduction made a huge difference! I still had many of the same side effects but they were less serious and passed by more quickly. The two symptoms that seem to be compounding are the nausea and the fatigue. This is not uncommon since the drugs do build up a bit in my system, and both symptoms are manageable. The nausea seems to last around 7 days; the fatigue lasts almost the entire 3 weeks but I’m still able to get out and, especially by the last week, it is easy to manage.
So we showed up in the AM for my treatment. First we meet with my oncologist so that she can evaluate how I am doing and make any changes that need to happen. I have my port accessed so they can draw blood for testing (to see how my red and white blood cell, and platelet counts are) this preps my port to receive the medicines that I’ll be receiving. Everything looked great so we went ahead with treatment and a mere 6 hours later I was finished. It can be a long day but we are meeting some nice fellow patients and all the nurses are fantastic!
I am feeling very hopeful that the treatments will continue to be manageable albeit with some side effects, it is chemo after all. It’s also hard not to be hopeful when I just finished my halfway-chemo dose and the tumor has shrunk noticeably! This is good news!!
Please hold us in your thoughts and prayers over the next week as I face the worst of the side effects and Matt picks up the slack and juggles Carey and kid care with work and house needs.
Love, Hope, and Laughter!