Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 4 of Chemo Goodness


Well, all the little fresh kiddies are running around campus now, with their laminated name tags hanging from red lanyards. Class of 2013 has arrived at Stanford. Oh man.

Meanwhile, back in my fun world, I pushed through Day 4 of the Irinotecan Temodar regimen that we've been meaning to start for, oh about a month and a half now. Aside from feeling crappy, nauseated, and generally tired, it's not been any worse than any of the previous regimens so far, so I guess that's a good thing. The difference is that I'm coming into it while still recovering from two semi-invasive procedures that have been, well, quite traumatizing.

Strangely enough, the most recent liver embolization, which really only left a small incision in my groin (ah the wonders of minimally invasive therapy), has been the hardest to get over in terms of pain and other side effects like fevers and night sweats. I've just been exhausted and needing to sleep for hours and hours a day. The VATS procedure on my left lung has healed up quite well, and aside from a slightly misshapen left pectoral muscle, it hasn't been too painful at all. The main trick is to keep from sneezing (ouch).

Zap it?

So here's the state of things. As far as we know, the biopsies from my lungs came back negative for malignancy. In fact, all they could see was "inflammation", caused by what, we don't know, but it should go away over time. The real question now, is the pesky liver. The embolization stopped the extraneous bleeding, but scans can't distinguish between blood and tumor or whatever else might be there. So, it's a bit tough to tell how big the tumor is or if there is one at all (could have been some spontaneous bleed). Right now we're going to hit it and all of extra little baddie cells that might be floating around with some chemo for a while. We'll scan again in a couple months and see how things look.

For now

I pretty much feel like crap. I've spent two to three weeks being in pain, exhausted, and having fevers and night sweats. Most of the pain has died down, I"m still exhausted, now nauseated, and generally trying to stave off the diarrhea that's supposed to be the main side effect of irinotecan. In a word, it sucks.

I've been mostly recovering at my sister's new place, which is pretty close to campus, so I guess that's a bit of a convenience. It's hard to focus on doing much else than just sitting around and vegetating though. Not exactly what I thought the end of the PhD was going to be. Anyhow, if anyone is up for visits or hug deliveries, I'm all up for it, if you can put up with my incessant hiccuping. . .


AnthonyB said...

Good to hear that the lung biopsies returned nothing nefarious. Bummer that the chemo is slowing you down. I'll give you a call in the next day or so to check in.

Anonymous said...

Hiccups?! I'm there.

sally said...

Sounds like tough times. Hope you're pulling through ok, and look forward to seeing you soon!