3rd Cycle, 1st Infusion – November 15, 2018

OK, so Here we go on a new phase for my chemo treatments! This is the alternation that is the key for the research study I’m part of.

This Thursday I had the first of 4 infusions over the next 8 weeks, of Nanaoliposomal Irinotecan with Leucovorin (reduced folinic acid) at my chair, and then was sent home with a pump to give me a slow, 46 hour long drip of 5-fluorouracil ’til Saturday. Normally this is an FDA approved chemo for folks with advanced pancreatic cancers who had failed previous chemotherapy.

The previous 8 weeks I received a total of 6 weekly infusions of gemcitabine & nab-paclitaxel with a week off every 3 infusions. This is the normal chemo used for my stage of pancreatic cancer, also FDA approved.

As I noted earlier the idea behind this is to see if hitting the cancer in two metabolically different ways would improve the treatment’s effectiveness (AKA killing the thing better). Also, to see if I build up less of a toxic load when sticking to just the gemcitabine / nab-paclitaxel soup the whole time.

OK, whatever, just as long as my tumor keeps shrinking, I’m good with it. We’ll see.

Using my port at home for the first time. Ports make life soooo very much nicer.

The pump is a bit annoying. It sits in a little man-purse that I hang off a shoulder strap during the day and attach with a belt to sleep with. Yeah, I get treated to sleeping with that thing for 2 nights every 2 weeks, making sure I don’t kink the little hose.

Friday: So far it seems to be behaving like the other stuff. Like last time I haven’t had a very hard time of it the day after. Next comes the weekend and we’ll see what that brings. On the last stuff the Saturdays and Sundays were the hardest.

Saturday morning: Mmmm yeah, I decided to take more nausea meds. The whole deal is to take enough to head off the nausea because once one starts getting fully sick, one tends to tear themselves up being sick, which makes it even easier to get sick again. I have no desire to do that but if I take too many meds it slows me down to a crawl and I’m still too interested in doing stuff to do that.

But enough navel gazing. Today I go back to get my pump removed, and it’s nice out so I should also look into winterizing my little trailer and preserving my investment that I didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy this year.

Oh, and our household hot water heater sprang a leak a while back, dribbling water onto the floor and seeping into the subfloor and crawl space under the house, and we discovered that on Tuesday, so we have a new water heater now and other contractors are becoming more frequent and will be in our lives for another month or so, lest the black mold gets started.

Oh yeah, and we now have a relatively rare Bowens TravelPak battery to go with our Elite Gemini 500 Watt-Second monolights, making it easier to shoot environmental portraits without needing to hump a gasoline generator around. It’s still heavier than a modern monolight with its lithium batteries build in, but at least we can get something like 200-600 pops out of the thing before needing to recharge and Bowens gear is built like a brick sh*house. So I guess I should start hitting up folks to act as models and go to weird places out of doors.

All in all, life goes on.