Monday, January 5, 2009

Chemo- Cycle 2 Begins

So today I had a big appointment with the oncologist, then I had my first chemo of cycle 2. I think I'm starting to get in the rhythm a bit--first lab work to get it going, then a visit with the oncologist, who got the labs mid-visit, then the nurses send the new orders from the oncologist to the pharmacy, then I get the pre-meds, then the chemo. It went pretty smoothly if long today, and Scott and my mom both accompanied me. It gave my mom a chance to meet my gyno-onco (who she liked very much) and then mid-way through waiting for the chemo Scott took her to the airport, so she has now gone home and I am turning my attention toward tomorrow and a return to work.

There was an issue that came up this weekend, and that is the apparent infection of my port catheter. The chemo nurses would not touch it due to redness and swelling (and plenty of pain, too) so I had to get my labs out of one hand and an IV in the other to deliver the chemo. The nurse who set the IV did the best job ever, so that wasn't too bad, but the drug did burn a bit going through, and she said it can be tough on veins, another reason for the port. The oncologist gave me an antibiotic prescription and made me promise to call Wed PM or Thurs AM to report on its condition either way (earlier if it swells or reddens further). If the antibiotic does its job, I should be good, but if there is still a problem I will have to be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics, something I would rather avoid, of course. I have full faith in Keflex, the drug I've been given, since I've had good luck with it in the past, so keep your fingers crossed!

My mom and I had a great visit, and though it was jam-packed with stuff to do and of course never long enough to accomplish everything we'd have liked, it was fun and of course productive. I'm a bit behind on e-mails, phone calls, etc., so please bear with me as I get caught up with everyone. I will also need to get a bit of extra rest over the next few days in my down time, due to work and chemo combined, but will do my best to keep up. This is also the final week of accepting entries for the contest I'm coordinating, and if today's mail is any indication it's going to get busier before I get a break, but things should settle down next week when I just need to get the organizing portion of the project going (much easier from my perspective than checking in physical books).

At any rate chemo went well, although I did find out from the oncologist that that horrible debilitating sickness in week 2 of Cycle 1 I had was not just due to an electrolyte imbalance but was probably a side effect of the taxotere as well. This means I'm really going to have to gear up for Day 8 of each cycle, now that I know it can be that taxing (hence the name of the drug, I guess!) and make sure I'm prepared as much as possible for sheer exhaustion and nausea. At least i only get taxotere on one day of each three week cycle. Next week will tell!

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