Friday, November 13, 2009

Chemo Plan and Other Things

My computer died. That is why I haven't posted in awhile. I was unable to resuscitate. I bought a new cheap charlie lap top. So far so good. A lot has happened since I last posted.

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

My cousin Janet came out from NYC and gave me an acupuncture treatment. It was really great. It really gave me some energy and relieved some pain. I did acupuncture for fertility and it worked for that too. Anyone who has any medical problems should give it a shot. After that we both took the train to Madison Square Garden, which is round, for the Bruce Springsteen concert. It was awesome. We had great seats and I had enough energy to really enjoy it. On the way home I was on the train with Rob and Maryellen Lastig. It was really nice to get to talk to them and chill on the way home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I had chemo training. It was interesting but a bit of a bummer. They explain all the medications, how they will be infused and all the side effects. The drugs am having are herceptin, taxotere and carboplatin. I will have the herceptin every week at first and the combination of all three every three weeks. I will explain what each of these drugs are and do.

1) Herceptin (Trastuzmab)- This drug is an anti Her2 monoclonal antibody. The type of cancer I have is Her2 positive. This type of cancer is particularly aggressive. The herceptin specifically targets this protein. It was initially used in stage four cancers only, then three, and now it is used for all cancers that are Her2 positive. It is pretty new for stage one non-recurrent cancers. It has only been used in cases like mine for about two years. Because of that, there is really no long term data on its effectiveness or potential long term side effects. However, there are cases of stage four that have been arrested because of herceptin. It is considered a wonder drug. Up until it was discovered Her2 positive cancers were a death sentence. It goes to show you that all that research money is actually being used. Thanks all you money raising walkers!!!!!

The herceptin infusion lasts about 90 minutes. The side effects are flu-like symptoms. Fever and chills are common. I will need herceptin infusions for a year. It will be every week at first and then go to every three weeks.

2) Taxotere (docetaxel)- This drug works by interfering with the supporting structure of the cancer cells so these cells can no longer grow. It is given by vein. I will be getting this drug six times, every three weeks.

The early side effects are nausea and vomiting and diarrhea. The late side effects are, decrease in blood counts, red cells, white cells and platelets. This may occur about 7 - 10 days after the infusion. Fluid retention, especially in the feet and legs. This may begin around the fifth treatment. Fatigue or joint pain. A rash, usually on the hands and feet, may appear between treatments and will usually go away before the next treatment. Numbness, tingling or burning to the hands and feet. Color changes to the fingernails or toenails. Hair loss, head, eyebrows, lashes and body hair.

3)Carboplatin (paraplatin)- This drug belongs to a group of anti-cancer drugs known as the platinum complexes. It is an alkylating agent. It works by attacking sites in the cells DNA and it stops the division of cancer cells. I will be getting this drug six times, every three weeks.

The side effects are nausea and vomiting within 6 - 12 hours. Taste alterations such as decreased taste sensation or unusual tastes such as metal mouth. Diarrhea or constipation. Hair loss, especially on the scalp. The late side effects are decrease in blood counts, red cells, white cells and platelets.

The nurse gave me a pile of prescriptions. They are for various things, pain, nausea, anxiety as well as decadron ( a steroid) that I have to take the days preceding the chemo, the day of the chemo and the day after. She said most people feel ok until a few days after. I am a little worried about taking care of Julianna if I have really bad days. I am hoping that I don't. I start this on December 7th, my brother's birthday.

They also gave me my H1N1 flu shot. They had no doses of the regular shot but I need to find some.

We also had an appointment with Julianna's doctor. She got the regular flu shot and the H1N1 shot. One in each arm. She didn't even cry. What a trooper!!!!!!!!!!!!! The waiting list for these shots at her doctor was over 1000 kids long. We were given priority due to my starting chemo soon.

Thursday, November 12th

I had two appointments today. The first was at the plastic surgeon. I saw the PA Kelly. She removed some remaining stitches. She did not add any fluid to the expander. I am thankful for that since it is still very painful.

My second appointment was with Dr. Datta. He is a surgeon and will be placing my infusaport. The port willl be just under my right collar bone. It is usually put into the subclavian vein. It can be used to draw blood or to infuse medications. It will be done under general anesthesia and usually takes about an hour. I will be having this surgery at South Nassau Hospital on November 24th, my sister's birthday.

Friday November 13th

I went to my job and saw the Police Surgeon. I was able to get a dose of the regular flu shot. I also got to visit a lot of people. Very therapeutic.

Happy Birthday to my cousin Ruby who is 10 today!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. All those Birthdays mean the Universe is with you!