1 Week Down, 4 1/2 To Go

I held off writing about my treatments until I got through a week of them. There’s a lot going on with this treatment, more than any of my other treatments. Usually I would get a mix of chemo in a single sitting, then wait a week or two before coming back and repeating. With this I’m getting radiation treatment each weekday, an interferon shot every other day, and then both radiation & interferon on Mondays along with a nasty dollop of Cisplatin. Oh yeah, I’m also getting a 24×7 trickle dose of 5FU from a pump that I wear throughout the entire 5 1/2 weeks.

Mondays are the special day for each of these weeks. First I get my port checked and they take blood for the weekly testing. Then they put a new battery in the pump and replenish the 5FU supply. Then the Cisplatin. It is very toxic on kidneys & livers, so I have to receive 2-3 liters of saline before they’ll infuse me with it. This takes at least 6 hours. The interferon shot is quick and sub-dermal, so not a biggie so far andthey usually wait until everything else is done. I get the radiation treatment done while I’m getting pumped full of saline. I just pull the IV pump “tree” with me as I go from the 2nd floor infusion center down to the radiation clinic in the basement, and we just make sure nothing gets in the way of the beams. That’s it for Mondays, the busiest day of my little week.

Tuesdays and Thursdays I only come in for my radiation treatment, nothing else. Wednesdays and Fridays I get radiation too, as well as an interferon shot. The 5FU just merrily dribbles into my veins the whole time.

Right now the impacts range from nothing to “OMG, I really need to increase my nausea meds, stat!” This week I could get through the mornings of Wednesday & Friday without using the meds. Tuesdays I am reacting to the Cisplatin making me sick, hard. I take meds for the interferon too but it isn’t anywhere near as severe. In the long run though, I will have to maintain a steady level of anti-nausea meds the whole time because the effects of the radiation build up over time. I think I mentioned that the 2 weeks after the regimen ends need to be spent in recovery.

I’ve been told to watch my hydration and try to keep weight on. This will be challenging. Food tastes not quite as good as it used to. I have very little hunger except when I’m empty and that feels a lot like I’m going to be sick, so that’s interesting. I’ve taken to putting a little fruit juice in my water so it isn’t so dreadfully boring. I make various virgin versions of sweet alcoholic drinks, and sip them with my little finger up in the air, for that posh look.

Meanwhile I’ve started the pre-approval process for getting a mortgage. We’re looking down in Centralia, WA. It’s about 60 miles south of Seattle, 60-70 miles north of Portland, and has a train station that serves cities up and down the west coast. There’s broadband internet around the town, and the prices are in my range, median being at least $200,000 cheaper than in Seattle or its greater area. I’ve noticed some friends starting to look the area over too. Working from home is changing things.

Um, that’s about it for the news from over here. Kinda boring for any but a few of us I guess.