Round 2 of Chemo is in the Books

My parents arrived in town Wednesday, February 18th (staying until the 25th-one week) for the second chemo treatment which was Friday, February 20, 2015.

The treatment consisted of:

Flush??-20 min
Benedryl-syringe (takes 2 seconds)

Antibody (Avastin)-30 minutes

FOL– Folinic acid (leucovorin)
F – Fluorouracil (5-FU)
OX – Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)-2 hours

The 5-FU is administered via a take home pump over approximately 46 hour period. They give you a syringe full, called a “push” before they start the pump because they’ve found that’s more effective.

The treatment itself took about 4 hours this time. I was there for over 2.5 hours for the blood draw and oncology appointment ahead of time. I assume the appointments before treatment were a little longer due to volume of patients seen this day, as the first week was much quicker.

I was pretty tired during chemo due to the Benedryl. Wasn’t much for company this time. I struggled to stay awake. Next time I’ll definitely sleep rather than fight it to impress my guests, JK.

Walking out of the hospital, I think the temperature was approximately ABSOLUTE ZERO!!! Or likely in the single digits with the windchill. I was told I likely wouldn’t have the hand/foot neuropathy until down the road as the OX?? built up in my system. This was not the case. I couldn’t feel that it was actually cold, but my face (lips) and hands and feet were instantly tingling, then feeling the pins and needles. I asked my parents if it was super cold out, as I was quite shocked by what I was feeling. They simply said yes, as I race walked away from them to the car quickly.

Lucky for me I left my gloves in the freezing car for the last 6.5 hours. Yahoo!! By the time I got to the car I felt like I was getting electrocuted in the hands and fingers. It was pretty great. My “driver” warmed up some gloves for me quickly by blowing in them. Just to put them on was pretty painful. After a few minutes, the shocking resumed to pins and needles for awhile. I guess I learned my lesson.

I also had the neuropathy in my mouth and throat again (had this the first day of treatment). Same feeling, pins and needles on the tongue and throat. I just had to avoid drinking anything cold. By cold, I think anything below a warm room temperature was included. Kind of annoying.

Other than that, Friday was pretty easy. There is a little anxiety feeling I think due to the steroid, almost an irritability and speediness of the heart and thoughts. This can be controlled with Xanax pretty easily. I still felt fine Saturday all day. I attended my company holiday party that night. Avoided cold/free alcoholic drinks, sadly.

Sunday morning, I woke up pretty early. Went down to the basement and rode Kelley’s spin bike for about 20 minutes. I wondered if I was feeling alright, since it’s been down there awhile and I’d never ridden it before. I felt fine the rest of the day. Took an hour nap just after lunch. About 2:30pm, we (myself, Angela, Compton and my parents) headed out to the Barnes Home Care facility to have the pump removed from my port. Angela and Compton were taught by the nurse how to do this. It’s a pretty simple procedure. Consists of detaching the pump and then flushing the port, etc in a sterile manner. They were both very impressive. Angela was exceptional at the 30 second “hub scrub”. These little hub scrubbers are going to do great next time, I can just feel it. We capped off the day with some wings and beer (water for this elephant) back in the city.

Woke up today (Monday) feeling fine, yet again. Went to work. Felt a little tired around lunch time, remedied with a little coffee. Feeling better now.

Not much planned for the night. Dinner with the folks and friends, my mom made my favorite dessert. Tomorrow I think we’re going to the Blues hockey game. The Canadians will be happy to see the Canadiens play. Then they will be off to Canada the following morning to warmer temperatures hopefully!! It’s been warmer there this entire time, poor chaps.

Until next time.

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