Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Red Devil

And that, kids, is how *Doxyrubicin/Adriamicin got its nickname. 

It wasn't this bright a red when I got it last time, because it was diluted in saline to go over several days. This is a hardcore bolus dose (outpatient) that takes about half an hour to push. 

I only wish I'd thought to take my phone into the bathroom with me the first time I peed after the infusion, because I am telling you... the toilet looked like it was full of Hawaiian Punch! (Oh, well. There's always next time, right?)

To prevent *fingers crossed* some of the more heinous side effects I had on this drug last year, I have an infusion on Palifermin once a day for the three days preceding chemo. (I had thought it was one infusion 72 hours before chemo and one infusion 72 hours after. That was a communication snafu. It's an infusion the three days prior, then chemo, then Neulasta the day after.) So, last week looked like this: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - spent a couple hours every day at MDA for the premed, Friday - three and a half hours at MDA for chemo and other associated meds, Saturday - spent about half an hour at the hospital, getting the Neulasta shot. 

Here's how the side effects have been: intense nausea, with some actual vomiting thrown in for good measure. (I've thrown up more in the last week than I have in the last year, put together. It's been such a blast.) I'm crazy tired, and unbelievably weak. I have joint pain and abdominal swelling, and yeast infections in my mouth and otherwise that predate chemo of last week, so that's been a real treat. My head hurts and my teeth hurt. I have a new pain in the front of my left ribcage that I'm still hoping it's temporary, but I've had it for almost a week now, so.... it may just be a new thing. 

The good news is that I don't have mouth sores. (Knock on wood that it's not just that they haven't shown up yet!) And that's what the premed is supposed to help with, so it looks like it's doing its job. Halle-freakin-lujah!

All in all... I'm alive. And I woke up hungry today, for the first time in a week. So, that's a win. I'm crazy tired, physically, emotionally, mentally. I'll be okay for a while, and then my brain gets foggy and I can't remember what I was doing or talking about. That's so frustrating that I don't even have words for it, but I'm hanging in there and hoping that the fog will lift just a little in the next couple weeks. 

It's not easy. In fact, it's hard. Crazy hard. And sometimes I feel like I'm living a hell that is straight up indescribable, but I think that life is worth it. So, I keep going. One foot in front of the other, one nausea pill and one percocet at a time. 

*I'm not sure what it says about me, but I'm finding a certain level of comfort in having learned that the red devil dose for sarcoma is 150x the dose given to breast cancer patients. Not to minimize the hell that is the breast cancer dose. Any chemo is poison and is going to wreak havoc on a body, but part of me is seriously proud of my sick and weak body for taking that crap like a champ. A bedridden, drugged up,  sick and weak champ, for sure. But I'm still standing. (Uhm... figuratively.)


Sabrina Gardner said...

Ah man, I'm so sorry! It sounds awful. But yes, you are a champ! And I'm glad life is still worth living. :) I will be seeing you in a couple weeks, so I'm thrilled about that. Lots of love to you!

Crowwyng said...

It's hell at my dose so you are more than a champion, you are a chemo Goddess. I love you and pray for you. PM me if you ever want actual face to face time.

Crowwyng said...

It's help at my dose so you are more than a champion, you are a chemo Goddess. I love you and pray for you. PM me if you ever want actual face to face visit.

Anonymous said...


Evvie Turley said...

You are a chemo goddess for sure! In fact, you're the chemo sinsai! I know you get tired of hearing it, but I love you and I think about you often. The pain you've described kills me to hear about. I have no idea how you are so tough; it amazes me! Hang in there