Sunday, December 13, 2009

The New Round of Chemo

Let's see, when we last left off, I had just had a wonderful time dealing with the nausea from my latest start of chemo. I think it was about the Monday or Tuesday after this first bit of chemo that I noticed my temperature being a little bit high. I tried my usual methods to see if it was of any concern -- usually having a smoke in the garage cools me down from a warm upstairs and I get a more accurate reading. But I was still above my 100.5: during chemo, this is the temperature at which they tell me to call in. Well, if I call in, I know they're just going to tell me to go to the ER, so I second guessed it for a while and tried to shed some clothes and what-not.

It didn't work. When I'd read 102.something I knew it was going to be another trip to the ER. Angie got the girls fed and then we all went to get me checked out. Of course it takes a while, a wait I'm sort of getting used to. After triage (I had already taken some ibuprofen or tylenol and beaten them to that part) I got a room. And they came for blood. It must have been flu season because I gave a little extra for some flu cultures. Yada yada, I forget, temperature down, prescription for Tamiflu or something and I was released. Your typical 3-4 hour ER visit when things are pretty much okay.

And things stayed okay. I was able to enjoy a very nice Thanksgiving dinner here, and my stomach was nice enough to cooperate. Angie had to do pretty much all the work, but she did a wonderful job. I think I only helped near the end with taking the turkey out of the roaster and carving it.

And the day after Thanksgiving I had my next bit of chemo. This one was a quicker push, and it seemed like I barely started by Benadryl nap and it was all over. I haven't had the greatest experience this time around. I've been visited by the nausea that I didn't have with the chemo this spring. And I seem to have been more tired and had more body aches. I was considering throwing in the towel on this latest attempt. I asked Angie what she thought, and she felt much the same.

But I brought all the info/feedback I had, good and mostly bad, and went to see Dr. Amatruda on Tuesday, Dec. 1. We discussed the many things we have to talk about. But even before I'd said I was thinking of taking a pass -- maybe he could sense it -- he explained that they prefer to go two rounds and then scan to see the results. A "round" in this case being the series of three injections. I decided to try my best to see it through. I figure I've always got a trump card that I can just say "enough" at any given time things get to be too much.

We scheduled up the next round, and I managed to straddle Christmas a bit. I'll have chemo on the 21st and 28th, and cross my fingers that in between I'm good enough for the trip to Bismarck and back for Christmas at Mom's.

And so I went for the last injection of this round on that Friday the 4th. I don't feel great. I spend a lot of time in bed and surfing the net. I am able to get some work done, too, and have been spending more time working from home. My new work PC connects with my home wireless whereas my old PC didn't, so it's been a bit easier.

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