Previous Pattern Holds: Day Two Sucks

My third chemo treatment was Monday and so far the pattern has mirrored No. 2 with a few deviations. So that means, essentially, the start of my Wednesday sucks. Let’s play editor and re-phrase that. So far my Wednesday really sucks.

I knew something was different Monday at the start of my third chemotherapy session. About an hour into my my first drug, Rituxan, I started feeling some nausea and the usual side effect feelings. That had not happened on the first two treatments. But Rituxan is the chemo drug that hangs around – 50 percent of it remains in your body for up to three weeks.

yuck mouthBy afternoon I was not as nauseous but realized this one was different. I guess No. 3 – no, pretty certain now – is where the ‘culmulative effect’ kicks in. Two days after the treatment, I’m rather positive that’s accurate.

Monday night was fairly typical of the day-of treatment for me – mostly very serious dry yuck mouth. I had low grade headache, etc.

Tuesday  morning was about the same and Tuesday afternoon I felt pretty good. Rode out with a cancer survivor to the treatment clinic for immunity shot. Fortunately, his visit was just a routine check in. Tuesday night I had the signature ‘day after’ hiccups. Not heard about that one? I finally checked it out and you can read that here. I have had hiccups the day after each treatement. The first time it lasted about two hours but not nearly as long since.

My biggest problem has been sleep the last two nights. My oncologist has put me back on steroids, Prednisone, at the midway point. I took the steroid the first two weeks after diagnosis to reduce the swelling on the lymph nodes. Doc Butler said it’s sort of the template – or perhaps I’ll call it the cookbook – for Lymphoma treatment. So I’m taking three Prednisone tablets a day for the rest of this week. He warned me it could case sleep problems. And dammit, he was right again!

Yes - 'slow roasted'

Yes – ‘slow roasted’

Basically I awoke about 2 a.m. this morning and if I got back to sleep it must have been very brief. I’ve not had the signature night sweats that sometimes accompany Lymphoma and the subsequent Chemo, but I have felt ‘warm’ all morning. But I did check twice and I don’t have a temperature. I just told a friend online that I feel a bit slow-roasted.

So yes, today so far is shaping up to be the worst day of the three treatments. Still, I’m thankful I haven’t gotten sick. I am taking more medications this week – an antibiotic for a small infection associated with my port … the insertion point and not the port itself. I’m back on the Prednisone, and after yesterday’s immunity shot I take Claritan for five days – which eases the bone/joint pain.

Of course that doesn’t include some Tylenol here and there for the headache or the assortment of things I rotate through to deal with the constipation I’ve had since day one.

So yes, this sucks.

I have a echo test on my heart next week to see if the ticker is handling this okay; it was great going in. Doc Butler decided to wait until after my fourth treatment to order a CAT or PET scan to see how far I’ve made it into remission.

Eddie

Eddie

The energy level is down significantly. I decided I’d walk the dog this morning – maybe 10-12 residential blocks. I’m pretty sure Eddie (the Corgi previously featured) got more out of it than I did.

Bit of a downer on this post, but always have said I’d be honest.

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About Howard

After most of my career in the newspaper business I joined higher education, working in Public Affairs. I write mostly about value wine.
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