So... it has become very apparent to me (via all the texts I've received in the last 24 hours) that I've been CRAPTASTIC about communicating what was going down with the chemo in this regimen.
I'm sorry. (And I'm not just saying that because I've had so many people text me.) I've been so busy, trying to get stuff done at work and at home and at the store (let's get real, kids... I needed to buy and eat all of the goodies that I could in the two weeks between finding out that I was going back into chemo and actually going back into chemo), that blogging about it was the last thing on my mind.
So, I will attempt to catch you all up before I fall asleep (again) because I'm super high on *muscle relaxers right now.
I'm going with option one. Which is two drugs combined, but delivered (outpatient) at different intervals.
Day 1 is Gemcitabine.
It's about a 2 hour infusion. Pre-meds to help with nausea and steroids to help my body NOT react to the poison.
Day 8 is another round of Gemcitabine + Docetaxel.
This will be a 4-6 hour total infusion, between the pre-meds and the actual poison.
I'll take Dexamethasone (steroid) orally on day 7 (before the day 8 infusion to prep my body for what is coming) and on day 9 (to help my body recover from what happened). They'll give it to me intravenously on day 8 with the other good (bad) stuff.
It's a 21 day cycle. So, meds on day 1 and day 8 (a week apart from each other). After the dose on day 8, I have all kinds of fun stuff to look forward to: neutropenia (when my blood goes bad, and, historically, I get to be treated for a UTI, among other mysterious infections, because my already non-existent immune system gets thrown for a serious loop), hair loss, total fatigue, neuropathy, feet and hands swelling to twice their normal size, sleeping 18 hours a day. It'll be a real party! But then my body will get to rest (if you call all of those good times "resting") from days 8-21. And then... it'll start all over again.
The plan is the same now as it always has been. (Oh, the joys of having a rare cancer that also just happens to be chemo-resistant!) I'll do two rounds, and then have a scan to make sure it's working. If it is, we keep going. If it isn't, we'll move to something else. There are still, like, three drugs that have been known to work on liposarcoma that I haven't tried yet... so options abound. (Insert eye roll here.) Currently, I'm scheduled to be back in Texas the week of New Year's (scan is scheduled for the 29th and follow-op on the 30th... nothing like charging my insurance for all that we can in the great year of 2015!). Assuming I'm feeling well enough to travel, I'm planning on hitting up the Museum of Fine Arts on MDA's dime that weekend. (I still have a pass to let two people in FOR FREE from the last time we were there. You know that I'm gonna make full use of that. I heart free stuff!)
*I'm on hardcore muscle relaxers because I accidentally (read: stupidly) lifted something that I had no business lifting (a 10 season compilation of Smallville on dvd, for anyone who needs the details) yesterday morning. I wanted to get it out of my living room and into my bedroom, and instead of asking Steve to do it when he was here Sunday, or having Jo do it when she was here Monday morning, I picked it up my own self. In truth, I was fine lifting it, and I was fine carrying it. It was putting it down into the chair in my bedroom that did the trick. I was at exactly the wrong angle, holding exactly the wrong amount of weight, and I felt the muscles pull.
It's been real awesome. But the good news is that I haven't screamed from the pain even once today. (Wincing, grimacing, groaning and maybe tearing up a little bit? Yes. But no screaming. So, that's an improvement.) Thank heaven for muscle relaxers, the magical bendy bed, heating pads, acupuncture (I know, I'm such a dippy hippie these days... but I'm telling you, acupuncture has been SUCH an amazing thing in my life the last couple months!) and... time.
Here's hoping that, tomorrow, my back'll be even better! And then I can move on to fully experiencing chemo side effects as their own beautiful thing. (I kid. Today really hasn't been bad. Between the muscle relaxers and the nausea meds, I've just been hanging out with Judy, talking and/or catching up on Elementary. I can't complain. ... Too much.)