Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chemo-lite and Arm-Heavy

Wow, I just published half the title of this posting on accident, so I guess I'd better hurry and get the rest posted. I'm such a genius when it comes to this blog thing.

Anyway, back to my point. I announced three weeks ago that I was done with chemo, but that was only partially correct. I had six doses of what's known as TCH, which is a combination of three drugs: Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin. And you'll never catch me complaining about Herceptin, because I'm convinced it's saving my life. But it does require a full years worth of doses, not just the six.

So Thursday I went back to the hospital for my seventh dose of Herceptin. It's administered by IV, the same as regular chemo. But I've been told that it'll be so easy compared to the other chemo that I'll be amazed. And the nurse on Thursday told me that the only side-effect she's ever heard of is fatigue. I usually research these things, but I was so eager for it to be true that I didn't. Well, Thursday night I hurt everywhere. I'm used to my legs aching, and my arm of course, but this was everything: neck, fingers, back, toes, rear end, everything. Rob said it must be the Herceptin, but I told him no, they said that would only make me tired.

Then I looked it up, and it turns out that 40% of people who get Herceptin complain of flu-like symptoms. 40%! I guess none of them complain to my nurse. But they were right that it was way easier, and I'm feeling better today. Though that nasty cough came back with a vengeance.

But that's not the real bad news. The worst part of Thursday was my appointment with my lymphedema therapist, where I learned that my arm has gotten even bigger than the last appointment. She called it "unfair" since I'm doing everything I'm supposed to. But then unfair is kind of the theme of this whole ordeal. My therapist has a few more things in what she calls her bag of tricks. The first was an even bigger and badder compression sleeve. And I'll tell you, nylons on steroids for the arm is perfect for summer. But here we go. The battle is on.


Sierra Snow Soaps said...

Sometimes it amazing on how much they DON'T know. My dear pop is having a heck of a time with dyalisis (sp?). His skin is so thin at 80 they just rip his skin off and his veins are so small they can't always get the fistula to work. He keeps plugging along. He helped sort donations at the thrift store with my mom this week. He says ya gotta keep busy. I like that your kids are willing to let you get away with anything.
Michelle in NV

Я строитель said...

It was interesting to read.