Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Countdown Begins

Tomorrow I will receive round 4 (out of 6) of my current chemo cycle. It’s kind of like hump day. By tomorrow afternoon I’ll be more than half way through this chemo cycle. The negative side effects are cumulative from dose to dose, so this past round was harder than the previous one. I’m beginning to learn to not push myself physically during the fatigue periods brought on by the chemo drugs. Pushing myself exacerbates the negative side effects that night or the next day. It does leave me mostly housebound, but it’s temporary and something I can live with for the next few weeks. I’ve also increased my pain and anxiety medicine by about 25%. I’m still at doses that are equal to or slightly less than half of the daily recommended maximums so I feel comfortable with these drug levels.

In addition to receiving the chemo tomorrow while at the hospital, I’ll have a blood sample drawn to ensure I’m healthy enough to continue with the chemo drugs (this is always a cliff hanger for me), I have a follow-up visit with my plastic surgeon following the chemo, and I have a visit with dental oncology to address a side effect which my other doctors are unsure about. The day will be partially busy and partially hurry up and wait. Some clinics (that’s how each area refers to itself – dental oncology clinic, head and neck clinic, etc) are almost always on time, some are never on time. I hope they are working on this issue.

My one infected lymph node under my right jaw is still there, but seems to be the same size (.8 cm) as the last few weeks and is therefore considered under control. No new lymph nodes that I can feel have surfaced. That continues to be good news.

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