Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yesterday I finally got my 4th chemo. It went pretty well, considering all we had to do to get it. I was also told the results of my MRI (on my head due to headaches.) She said there was no cancer, but there is swelling of the cerebral spinal fluid (which could indicate a rare disease, but I don't think it is. Mom insists that I check with my family doctor next time I'm in.) I guess that would cause the headaches - or maybe it's that all 3 anti-nausea meds list headaches as a side effect!

The routine that should have taken place for yesterday's Chemo: An hour before chemo, you have to go and get blood-work done to make sure you're healthy enough to get chemo. Then you have a doctor's visit wherein the doctor or his assistant checks you over. If all is good, you have chemo in a large room with curtain dividers. You can now take the first anti-nausea pill (the 3 pills cost $450 - unless you have good insurance, which I do.) They start the IVs going into my port with saline, Kytril (anti nausea) and throw in some steroids. Next is the red adriamycin which is a very toxic drug that can damage your heart. Afterwards is the clear Cytoxan. This one takes an hour to dispense. When they're through, I get more saline and herceptin (blood thinner). That was the last time I have to do that routine. For visits #5-8, I will get Taxotere, another drug. I have to have steroids with it (day before, day of and day after) which will do a number on my diabetes.

What happened yesterday: Before chemo, I woke and found my blood sugars were in the 500's (normal is 80-120). I gave me a ton of insulin but it didn't work. I changed my pump site and discovered that the canula leading into my body had gotten twisted. No wonder nothing worked. With the new pump site, I gave me more insulin. Blood sugars went higher! After the next try, the insulin did its thing. But, it still was in the 400's for the doctor's lab report.

I told the doctor's assistant about my chest pains and headaches. Shouldn't have said ANYTHING. She wanted to make sure everything was okay, so before chemo I got to go across the street to a radiation place where they checked my port with a dye test. It worked great, but the equipment they hooked up to my IV wouldn't come off and the doctor spent 15 minutes using various tools to pry it off.

Mom and Dad then took me to Kadlec in Richland to get the EKG for my heart (chest pains). That took us forever because the papers requesting the EKG had inadvertantly requested an Echocardiogram and they were booked for the day in that area. After an hour or so, the receptionist got that mess straightened up, I got the EKG and went back to the Cancer Center to get the chemo. I didn't get out until 4pm - though I had started the day at 8:45!

I'm sleepy due to the anti-nausea meds. But am doing well otherwise. We went to weight watchers this morning. I've gained 2 pounds in the past 3 weeks. Decided it must be the steroids I'm on. (But, I've lost over 25 lbs since Christmas!) Then we detoured to Value Village and bought Kyle some shorts and levis (it's his 12th birthday today!) Got some things for Stephen at Target (and smaller pants for me!!!) and mailed him a package. Got home and there was a message from the Cancer Center. Instructions on taking the steroids for next treatment and information about the EKG - fine except for an insignificant finding of "Right Bundle Branch Block" (try to say THAT 10 times in a row!) This block is insignificant (I looked it up on the internet - indicates damage to the heart possibly from previous heart attack) and was actually discovered before my surgery when I had my first EKG in May. So, that's me so far this week!

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