Friday, August 10, 2007

Post Chemo Cycle 6 - Round 1

I finished my chemo about 48 hours ago. Based on the side effects experienced during the last chemo treatment, a 3-day round of steroids was prescribed for the headache and fatigue, and I was given the go ahead for a nausea drug I had used from a treatment awhile back. It helped somewhat, resulting in a light headache on Wednesday, with less fatigue and nausea. Mostly a success in my book.

I’ve been keeping detailed logs (my OCD at full force) of various activities since January 1st. I thought you might be interested in some of the statistics. I have made 61 trips to the hospital or doctors' offices. That averages out to 2 per week. The longest was a 17-hour day at the hospital, not counting the day that I had surgery and got to stay overnight. The shortest was a 5-minute trip, not including travel time, to the doctor for a Neupogen shot. These trips have racked up 3,306 miles and cost $300+ in parking fees. I have also kept a log of each medication I take, the dosage and time/date of the drug. Since December 20, 2006, I have taken 2,180 doses of medicine (+/- 1%). That’s about 9 pills, shots, or IV drugs per day. The vast majority are pills for chronic jaw pain from the surgery in July 2006 and anxiety-reduction medicine related to the disease. The rest were white blood cell booster shots, chemo, and chemo side effect alleviation medicines. About 60 to 70% are necessary for me to sleep without waking up in discomfort. (I can’t get any sleep without the drugs. With the drugs, I get a reasonable night’s sleep.) The worst chronic negative effect has been the fatigue followed closely by jaw pain when eating. I have to take a dose of medicine about 30 – 45 minutes prior to a meal which I usually don’t feel like eating anyway, but do so for the calories. Many "meals" consist of swallowing a bottle of Boost, a protein drink that I can swallow with effort. The best part of this is that the drugs usually don’t seem to affect my mental acuity. The most frustrating effect is my compromised speech.

That’s it for the day. I’m just finishing watching day 2 of the PGA championship, Tiger is in the lead. I hope everyone out there reading this is well. Take care.

No comments: