Friday, May 30, 2008

Round 8


Well I'm in the hospital again for another round of IE (Ifosfamide and Etoposide), but this time it's outpatient. This is day two, and I have to say there's something much more pleasant about being able to go home at night. When you do the regimen outpatient, you go to the Infusion Treatment Area (ITA) in the Cancer Center, where you still get to stay there for the whole day (around 8am to 6pm), but 1) things start on time, because the ITA is only open for so long, and 2) you get to go home to sleep, even though you have to wake up early and come in again the next day. Yesterday they gave me a huge dose of Benedryl, supposedly for nausea, but it totally knocked me out for the day. It's kind of nice in a way, like the sleeping time machine effect that you get on long car rides - "Oh, it's going to take so long to get there . . . doze doze doze . . . huh? whuh? We're there? Yippee!". Still, I think it was a little much, so I asked for a smaller dose today. Still zonked me out quite a bit though.

So, besides that, there have been a few updates to Alex in Cancer Treatment-ville. I talked with my doctor last week about when the next scans will be. Most likely we'll do them the week after we come back from Hawaii (June 9). I'll be having a chest CT and a pelvic MRI. The treatment will continue through to the end regardless of how those scans turn out, but hopefully they'll give reassurance that things are working. In other news, I had a medi-port installed on Friday. Here's the type I had put in: The medi-port is slightly more invasive to put in - it's a minor surgical procedure, but once it's in, it just stays under the skin until the nurses need to access it with a needle. They insert it into the chest just below the clavicle bone, in my case on the right side. It was a little daunting going into surgery again, but I was basically awake the whole time. Unfortunately, though, they had a sheet draped over my head so I couldn't really see what was going on. The worst part, as usual, was when they injected the numbing medication, which ironically stings quite a bit. After that I felt some pressure here and there, a little bit of pain, and the pull of threads as they stitched me up. The site's been pretty sore and a little bruised the past couple of days, but that should go away soon. They actually use what is essentially medical superglue to close the wound. It's nice because I can shower without covering it, and eventually I'll even be able to go swimming with it once the wound heals.

As I finish up this post it's now actually day 4 of Round 8 (woohoo!). The predictability of this outpatient treatment is great - I've been out of the clinic pretty reliably around 6pm every day this week. This is in contrast to the inpatient rounds, when I might check in at 10am and not start treatment til 7 or 8 pm. Right now, it's less than an hour to go!


jeff said...

Huh. That's actually a cool looking little device you've got inside of ya.. Is it clearly visible under the skin? Hey, are you in Hawaii now? Hugs to you & tom & lisa!

nina412 said...

Hi Alex

Glad to know that your treatment can be slowly transgress to outp't.

As I am floating in the Santa Cruz area and sometime need to stay in the hotel, I understand the sweetness of sleeping at home ^_^

Keep your good work & congratulation~ you are half way there.